Christianity was supposed to be about becoming like Jesus. We went in the wrong direction.
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Chapter 13 - How important is family

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. - Luke 14:26-27

Jesus is not advocating hatred of family members. There are two factors to add clarity to the verses in Luke. The first element is context. There is a banquet where a guy makes what was probably a common toast.

And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. - Luke 14:15

To this Jesus responds with a story about people making excuses when invited to a great feast. The man giving the feast was angry that those invited begged off. He then told his servants to compel the blind, maimed, and poor to come to the feast instead.

The purpose of this story was to illustrate to the guy who made the toast that the casual assumption that any Israelite would automatically be in the kingdom of God, was mistaken. The second element that adds clarity is translation. Here a word for word translation misses a little of what the sentence would have meant to a Greek hearer.

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters in the event that they become hindrances to his supreme love for me, yes, moreover also his own life in the same manner, he is not able to be my disciple. And whoever is not taking up and carrying his own cross and coming after me, is not able to be my disciple. - Luke 14:26-27 Wuest

Families are important. God created them. Satan has put a lot of effort over centuries in crippling them. They can be a source of much affection. However, they can also be a source of hindrance.

Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. - Luke 12:51-53

An illustration of the hindrance a family can be seen in the example of a child who is a young adult and visits home and tells the parents he became a Christian. If the parents or other siblings are not Christian, thy might act to pressure the young person to be quiet, or even change their view.

Essentially Jesus is saying that not everyone who thinks they are going to waltz into the kingdom of God is going to. In fact some will face opposition even from their own family which they will have to overcome by placing greater value on Jesus. Jesus even adds that one’s own life can be a hindrance if it is valued as more important that Jesus.


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