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:
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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 www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.
The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.
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