Luke 14:26 – If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
I don’t hate my parents in the literal since (I’ve got the greatest parents in the world); I’m referring to the tough teaching of Jesus. I say tough, because Jesus didn’t pull any punches. He smacked all of us upside our noggins when He taught on the cost of discipleship.
Hate is a strong word in our vocabulary, and doesn’t translate the same as the bible usage in this context. Jesus’ greatest commandments included loving your neighbor as yourself. The bible also commands honoring your parents, spouse, children, etc.
Jesus is here using the language of the Bible. For instance, in the Old Testament, there were twins, Jacob and Esau. God used this hate language in regard to His dealing with these two men.
Romans 9:13 – As it is written, Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated.
Genesis taught that God was good to both; but He chose to work through the family line of Jacob, thereby placing him in first position of priority.
Love less. That is the bible meaning of hate in this passage. And that is what God requires of every emerging disciple.
Choosing Jesus over every earthly relationship is the cost of discipleship. He doesn’t play second fiddle.
This means we don’t allow any peer pressure to reposition Jesus. If our spouse makes us choose between God and them: they lose.
How do my decisions affect God’s primary position in my life?
Dating non-Christians isn’t an option. Secretly serving Jesus for social acceptance isn’t an option. Pleasing people at the cost of pleasing Jesus isn’t an option.
Make sure you love everybody: just love him or her less than Jesus.