Have you ever wondered why Jesus stated that we must hate others and hate our own lives? At first, from the natural perspective, the initial reaction is that one is taken back in shock! As a matter of fact, when I first came into the faith of Jesus Christ and became born again, it was a little puzzling to understand for me. However, as I grew in the Lord and became associated with the Kingdom of God, everything became so much clearer.
Let’s take a closer look at that verse:
“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.” (Luke 14:26 KJV).
Those words in Red are the words of Jesus Christ. That is why this scripture can be so puzzling to most people. The average person believes Jesus to be “all loving” and void of any type emotion that is opposed to “love.” But when they see a scripture like this, they are immediately taken back. Some that I have come across are even offended. The offense happens because people become impatient and refuse to allow the Holy Spirit to guide them into Truth. Many have not the Spirit, hence, the easiness to get offended. I wasn’t offended when I stumbled upon that scripture years ago. I was just curious. I knew there was a deeper meaning behind it, so I left it at that. A time later, as I stated initially, I began to see things clearer and that scripture had relevance and application in my life.
Let’s take a quick look at another scripture with a different meaning of hate:
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies” (Galatians 5:19-20).
The Greek word for hatred in Galatians 5 is echthra which means: enmity, hostility, hostile, adversary, malice.
The Greek word for hate in Luke 14 is miseó which means: detest, esteem less, denounce, less value, renounce
There is a clear difference if we study the words correctly and also take into consideration the CONTEXT of what Jesus was speaking of in the Gospel of Luke. Jesus wasn’t saying we should be hostile or malicious with our family but we must rather love less, esteem lower, and even renounce our kinship with them. Hence, being born again or born anew as a New Creature in Christ Jesus.
“Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,” (Ephesians 1:5).
This loving less and renouncing the blood line so to speak of one’s family and entering a new blood line that of Jesus Christ, is essential to one’s experience as a Christian. The so called “christian” that is still in close proximity (conduct/conversation) with his/her family has not begun to hate his/her family. We should detest the natural works of the flesh. All families who are not in the Kingdom of God are practicing the works of the flesh.
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”(Galatians 5:19-21).
The will of God must Triumph worldly relationships and those in the world will eventually take notice. They will see your devotion towards the kingdom of God and even from their perspective, your zeal will be considered “hate.” This is a good thing and confirms that you have a new Father (God) and a new Family (the household of Faith).
“For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.” (Psalm 69:9).
The same hatred is needed to be had towards one’s own life. We must understand that the goals and dreams we have as casual human beings may not be what God desires for us. As we become born again Christians we are now following the kingdom of God. We are to lay our lives down for the Cross of Christ and take up his work and will.
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23).
This denial of one’s self is similar to one hating his own life. We lessen the importance of our goals, we esteem less the desires of our flesh. We are now in tune with the Lord’s work and his will. Jesus even stated himself in the Garden of Gethsemane, “…nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Lk 22:42). Jesus hated his own life in the sense of esteeming it less in comparison with the will of God. We are not to hate our life in the sense of being hostile to ourselves as some do who commit suicide. They truly have a wrong hatred towards themselves and others. But we as Christians should hate our lives and others as it and they pale in comparison to the will of God. We must firmly understand that our #1 priority is the will of God and bearing fruit for the kingdom of God because only what we do for the kingdom of God will last.
“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” (1 Corinthians 3:13).
can you bear the cross?