In Luke chapter 14 we read, “Now great crowds accompanied him” (verse 25). Imagine the scene, how popular Jesus had become, but it was not the fame of celebrities today. Suddenly Jesus challenges them. “He turned and said to them, ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” (verses 25,26).
What are we to make of this? The Greek word for “hate” occurs 42 times in the New Testament and is always translated as hate, hateful, hated, etc. in the AV. This shows that from the Divine perspective there are no grey areas, if one does not love – then one is counted as ‘hating’.
But the words of Jesus demand that we understand them in a scriptural context, rather than just having opinions (which is not a New Testament word). The context in which Jesus uses the word hate implies he counts certain things of no importance. In following in his footsteps, we must see life’s values as he sees them. We need to each ask ourselves, ‘What is most important in my life?’
If we are really following Christ and putting his principles into practice in the way we live then this will direct the decisions we make; this will push aside all other things which will have no priority in our planning.
Look at the parable Jesus tells after giving this challenging teaching (in verses 27-33). What kind of tower are we building? As we build, using the material Jesus and his father supplies, we get to see the meaning of life from the divine perspective with greater clarity. We must each ask ourselves how is my building going? What sort of view am I now getting of life?