I just got booted from speaking with the atheists for merely having a mind enough to say ‘context’ about a certain passage that was used against the bible (from within the bible oddly enough). Apparently, when referring to context I ‘must be wrong’? Here is the passage and you decide.
25 Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them,
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.
27″Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
28″For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?
29″Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him,
30saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
31″Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand?
32″Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.
33″So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
34″Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned?
35″It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Apparently Jesus want us to hate everyone and ourselves – which is quite the contradiction from love God and your neighbor – hmmmm. Problem is this is a single verse being pulled from many that does have a ‘context’ and well…an answer in verse 33 to the problem. You see the terms like ‘otherwise’ and ‘or’ seem to bridge the passage – which is plain to the naked eye and I ain’t even an English teacher. Finishing in verse 33 with ‘so…’. Point being ‘you cannot follow Jesus if you hang onto your possessions’. Which seems troublesome but the point is backed up in verse 27 – ‘you might have to lose your life for me’ (this is just brutal honesty on Jesus’ behalf and warning the large multitude). Scared yet?
Well, fact being Simon Peter never left his mother alone – actually Jesus healed her. Now that’s a sure sign someone hates their mother – they let her get healed of her sickness by the same man that told him to hate her (not very logical). Oddly enough Peter and Andrew (brothers) and John and James (brothers) all followed Jesus – yet they were all there when Jesus announced this little ditty in Luke 8. Are these the signs of someone that wants you to ‘hate mother and brother for him’?
What does make sense is the ‘context’ explanation. Jesus warns these people that if they want to follow him this might include ‘death’ – based on the calculation parables in Luke 8:28-32 – which talk about ‘planning’ and ‘using your head’ – so you can back out. So what’s wrong with some brutal honesty – Peter and whoever else could of just walked away at that point – and spared themselves the pain of dying for his name. They knew what they were getting into (it would seem) and still pursued it – not wanting to be ‘quitters’ for the love of their master. But like the salt analogy (vs. 34) – they would of known they became ‘unflavored and worth very little’ as someone of credibility (denying their faith in face of violence).
So what does it all mean? In a weird sense ‘hating’ yourself (in comparison to your love for Christ) is the honest interpretation. You might have to ‘lose it all’ (ie: death by upsidedown crucifixion in Peter’s case and stoned to death in James case). One could also say ‘they loved not their life even unto the death’ as another way of putting it.