“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
The word hate in this text is explained in the following:
“Hate referred to in Luke 14:26, means a less degree of love. We are to have supreme love to God, and our friends are to be loved secondarily. Our love for husband, wife, brother, sisters, father, or mother, must be inferior to our love to God.” The Review and Herald, September 16, 1862.
Some will put God’s word aside so that peace may be kept in the family or among friends. This shows God that we love our family or friends more than Him. See the following comment:
“Our love for these dear relatives must not be blind and selfish, and cause us to forget God. When these ties of relationship lead us to prefer their favor by disregarding the truth, we love them more than we love Jesus, and are not worthy of Him.” Ibid.
If we love others more than we love God, choosing their ways over God’s ways, then we have no shelter. We are told:
“In that fearful time when we need an arm to protect and shield us, stronger than any human arm, stronger than the arm of father, brother, or husband, and shall call upon Him that is mighty to save, He will not hear us.
“He will bid us to
- lean upon those whom we preferred before Him,
- whom we loved above Him,
- whom we would not forsake for Him.
“He will say, Let them deliver you, let them save you. I gave you proof of My love. I left the glory of My Father, and all My majesty and splendor, and came into a world cursed with sin and pollution. For your sakes I became poor, that you through My poverty might be made rich. I bore insult and mockery, and died a shameful death upon the cross, to save you from hopeless misery and death.
- Yet this did not excite your love enough to obey me,
- and lead you to prefer My favor above the favor of earthly friends, who have given you
- but feeble proofs of their love. I know you not; depart from Me.” Ibid.
Luke 14:33 says, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.”
To hate father, mother, wife, children, brethren, sisters, and his own life means to love God first and to put Him first.