Should I hate My Family To Follow Christ? | Watch This Episode on YouTube


Related Messages

If you would like to hear additional teaching on this passage and others that speak of being a disciple of Christ, consider listening to the following sermons by Pastor Caldwell:

The High Cost of True Discipleship

Count the Cost - Parts 1 & 2

What Every Christian Should Recognize About Salvation

The Priority & Urgency of Following Jesus - Parts 1 & 2

Plowing a Straight Row

The Peacemakers


Should I hate My Family To Follow Christ? | Watch this episode on Vimeo

Should I hate My Family To Follow Christ?

This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, we will be considering the teaching of Jesus from Luke 14. After reading Luke 14:25-27, a listener has questions. They want to know what Jesus means when He uses the word hate and says we cannot be a disciple unless we do so. Does it really mean that we are to harbor hatred towards our family to follow Jesus? Or is this hyperbole? Dr. Philpot asks Dr. Caldwell if he would explain this and give his thoughts on the text. Dr. Caldwell will take us to the Word of God, read the passage in question, and explain what it teaches about being a disciple of Christ.

Dr. Caldwell reminds us that the best interpreter of Scripture is Scripture. So when we do this with this passage, what becomes evident is that Jesus is not using the word hate in the sense of personal animosity. To follow Him does not make us hateful toward other people in our life. The word hate is used here in the sense of choice, of preference. What Jesus is saying is to be His disciple, He must have first place. He must have first place in our lives in everything, which includes even our most intimate relationships.

Dr. Philpot wonders if the word hate is used here for shock value. But Dr. Caldwell says, no, he does not see it that way. As he stated, he sees it used in the sense of choice. Jesus is speaking about ultimate priority, choosing one thing over another, about our devotion. Our loyalty and allegiance to Him must be preeminent. All other loves must be subordinate to our loving Him. Where this becomes evident and plays out is usually in our closest relationships. Our love, and commitment to Jesus, will often be interpreted by our family members as hatred.

Dr. Philpot wonders if this is similar to other sayings of Jesus in Scripture. Jesus speaks of bringing a sword that divides, speaking in terms, of the gospel and accepting Him as Lord and Savior. Is this the same as this passage in Luke?

Dr. Caldwell says there is no doubt that the gospel is a sword. It unites, but it also divides. When we come to Christ in salvation, and other members of our families do not, there is now a difference, a separateness. So here, the gospel is like a sword that divides. This divide causes conflict to enter our lives and brings difficulties in our relationships that were not there before. Our relationship with Jesus has priority over these other relationships. To them, it seems as though we hate them, even though we really do love them.

Lastly, Dr. Philpot and Dr. Caldwell speak of what is meant in this passage to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Dr. Caldwell explains that the primary way the word disciple is used in the New Testament is a follower of Christ. It is someone who knows Jesus through salvation. You cannot be a follower of Christ unless you receive Him for who He is and He is Lord. Every believer is called to acknowledge the lordship of Christ and show Him preference over all earthly ties.

Our priorities before coming to Christ are many and varied. Jesus makes this clear in His teachings throughout the Gospels as He warns against faint-hearted attachments to Himself. He desires us to see that to be His disciple is costly. We must be willing to give up everything for Jesus, possibly even our own life.

About The Straight Truth Podcast

The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at

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Season 16 Credits

Produced by
Juan Carlos Claveria

Executive Producers
Joshua Philpot
David Anders

Hosted by
Joshua Philpot

Social Media Descriptions by
Michele Watson

Graphic Design
David Navejas


Special Thanks to
El Centro Network

Music by

Motion Graphics
Szymon Masiak

Set Decorator
Molly Atchison

Walking In Grace Produces The Straight Truth Podcast - The Best Christian Podcast On The Web

2 Responses

  1. Jesus teaching is to hate the sin within as it is in opposition to the gospel not the sinner be it father, mother, brother etc.
  2. He also says that we're to love our enemies, and if you're hating someone, you're not following His Word.My theory is love the sinner, hate the sin--the sin is demonic, and deserving of hatred and to be ignored, but the person involved in sin is to be loved and guided to the best of your ability ,so that they will be renewed in Christ from the sin that has plagued them. I never thought that hating the sinner did any good, because we'd have to hate ourselves, because even a righteous man sins at least seven times a day, so you'd have to hate yourself.

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