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What did Jesus mean when He said we have to hate our mothers and fathers in order to be a disciple (Luke 14:26)?

Let's begin by looking at that particular verse.
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 NIV)
The same Jesus that made this statement, also told us that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, love our enemies, and to love our wives (Mark 12:31; Matt. 5:44; Eph. 5:25).

If we are to love our neighbors, our enemies, and our wives, then we must assume that Jesus is not referring to hate, as we know it, in verse twenty-six. You can't hate and love at the same time.

A closer examination of the Greek text proves this deduction. The English word "hate" is translated from the Greek word "miseo." Bullinger's Greek Dictionary indicates that one translation of this word is "to love less than."

I have found that this translation of the Greek word "miseo" corresponds with the rest of the Bible. Jesus is stating that we will never become His disciples unless we love our father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, and even our own lives less than we love Him.

How does this apply to everyday life? If my father and mother say to me, "I don't want you reading your Bible any more," I then must make a decision regarding whom I'm going to love the most, God or my parents. I would have to let my parents know that I love them and respect their opinion, but I must serve God and obey the Bible.

In doing that, I would be loving my father and mother less than I love God. This way I would continue in the Word of God and become a disciple (John 8:31).

Copyright © Bible Answers Foundation
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Joseph Cameneti
Web site: Believers Church
Joe Cameneti Sr. is the lead pastor of Believers Church, located in his hometown of Warren, Ohio. Pastor Joe, along with his wife Gina, pioneered Believers Church in 1983 following his graduation from Bible School. In addition to leading a thriving local church, Pastor Joe is the host of a weekly show called "BCTV." The program is aired locally, reaching over 30,000 people each month. Pastor Joe is a gifted communicator, skilled in the art of building bridges to unchurched America. Transparent and authentic, you'll walk away challenged and encouraged to connect with God in a deeper way.

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