ESV - 26 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.
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First of all Jesus is talking about discipleship, not salvation which is a free gift from God. A disciple should love Jesus more that his parents. Not hate his parents. It was the same way with Jacob and Esau. God loved both of them but loved Jacob more than Esau. Jacob was his choice to be the line that Jesus would be born into. God commanded us to love our father and mother that our days may be long on the earth. A command with a promise. But we are a child of God. John 1:12 When we leave our father and mother God is now our heavenly Father.
Jesus instructs concerning discipleship in Luke 14:25-27), in regard to the candidate's family (Luke 14:25-26)—a discipleship proof: He or she must place Jesus above them; and in regard to the candidate himself (Luke 14:27): He or she must carry his or her cross and follow Jesus. HW When our nearest and dearest relationships prove to be positive obstacles in coming to Christ, then all natural affections must be flung aside; comp. Deuteronomy 13:6-9; 21:19-21; 33:8-9. A reference to Matthew 10:37 will show that ‘hate’ means hate by comparison. “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Our Lord purposely stated great principles in their most audacious (boldest) and even most paradoxical form by which He alone has succeeded in impressing them forever as principles on the hearts of His disciples. Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges One of the Amplified Bibles, Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC), it has: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his [own] father and mother [[a]in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God] and [likewise] his wife and children and brothers and sisters—[yes] and even his own life also—he cannot be My disciple." (Luke 14:26) NLT: “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.” I.e., unless you love less your nearest and dearest loved ones than you love Christ, you cannot be His disciple. "Hate" doesn't justify malice or ill will toward one's family, but it means that devotion to the family must take 2nd place.
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