"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." (Luke 14:26)
A similar statement in Matthew 10:37 is the key to understanding this difficult command. The “hatred” called for here is actually a lesser love. Jesus was calling His disciples to cultivate such a devotion to Him that their attachment to everything else—including their own lives—would seem like hatred by comparison. See 16:13; Genesis 29:30, 31 for similar usages of the word “hate.”
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