Great crowds were traveling with him, and he turned and addressed them, “If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, ‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’ Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms. In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.Luke 14:25-33
The Greek word for “hate” (miseó) means to detest (on a comparative basis), to love less, or to renounce one choice in favor of another.
The consequences of preferring flesh and blood to God in a pure test of will are documented in the book of Genesis, when Adam sought to please Eve in disobedience to God’s commandment. The result was not love and unity, but dissolution of trust on every level, human, natural, and divine. Alienation and death rushed in upon the dethronement of God in favor of human and familial love.
The law of life is written on the human heart, which only has room for one God.
You shall not have other gods beside me.Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 5:7
Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength.Deuteronomy 6:4-5
East of Eden, the Cross is the tree of life that heals the human race. The Father sent his only-begotten Son into the world to unite Adam and Eve, Jews and Gentiles, and all nations under God. Divinity, not blood, unites all peoples.
The price of discipleship is the subordination of all loves to the love of Christ. As divinity transcends consanguinity, the choice for God and eternity ultimately benefits the earth and humanity—a single family.
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life.Matthew 19:29
Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.Mark 10:29-30
Bearing the cross of Christ is such a costly undertaking that it is compared to building a tower with limited resources or facing an army twice its size. Filial adoption beyond blood ties is necessary to renounce all possessions for the love of Christ.
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day.John 6:44