“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.”Luke 14:26
At first reading these can seem like harsh words indeed from Jesus. After all, this is the same Jesus that told us to love our neighbor and even our enemies. It hardly makes sense that He would tell us now to hate someone. The New Living Translation of this verse begins to clarify things: “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison…” What Jesus wants from us is total commitment, love without any distractions. Our love for Him must supersede our love for our family and ourselves.
Jesus would never ask us to stop loving our family. Even when family members reject us because of our love for Christ, we must still love and pray for them. This teaching of Jesus was to bring His followers to a place where they set aside everything else in order to dedicate their all to following Him.
I grew up singing the chorus, “I surrender all, I surrender all,/ all to Jesus I surrender, I surrender all.” I’ve sung it hundreds of times, and yet I still face each day needing to surrender all to Jesus again.
We must never hold anything back in our surrender to Christ. Remember, He held back nothing in order to save you!