Pastor Cory Cangelosi
Now great multitudes accompanied Him, and 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, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be my disciple.” - Luke 14:25-27
This can be a confusing passage! How can Jesus be telling us to love others as we love ourselves, then turn around and command us to hate others? But the word “hate” in Hebrew doesn’t mean animosity or anger; it means to prefer something over something else.
Jesus is challenging us in this passage to prefer Jesus over everything else. Furthermore, Jesus doesn’t want to just be the first priority, then other things. He wants to be first priority in everything.
We’re not called to hate other people. Rather, when we give Christ preference or preeminence in our lives, we love others more, not less.
Question: When others see how we live our lives, what we sacrifice, and what we’re willing to suffer for, would they say, “Wow, he or she must surely love Christ, to give up so much!”?
Family Chat: How would your friends know that you love Jesus?
Take Action: Call your accountability partners and ask them to honestly answer this question about you: “What is the first thing you would say to someone if you were to describe my first priority, my primary identity?” When they answer that question, follow it up with this one, “Do you believe that everything else in my life pales in comparison to my devotion to God, or do you see something standing in the way of that?”