(LUKE 14:25-26) Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not HATE father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, EVEN THEIR OWN LIFE—such a person cannot be my disciple.”
(MATTHEW 10:37) “He who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me”
This is a nerve wrecking statement from the Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone that hears these statements will be shocked. But this is another paradox that needs sound explanation with warning because many cultic religious leaders will use these verse to manipulate people. They brain wash their subjects to become fanatics who will most likely cause to end many lives just to follow false leaders.
If you encounter any leader, whether religious, secular or political, who demands absolute loyalty to follow him, like literally leaving your loved ones behind and hating them, leave as fast as you can from him and stay away from that man whoever he is. Have nothing to do with that leader because that person is a WOLF. That person is a false leader. Denounce that man whoever he is. He will just make a sucker out of you. Even if that leader performs miracles in your midst.
No one can demand absolute loyalty but God alone and if Jesus is not God, then He will not utter such shocking statements. There are a lot of cultic religious leaders that uses the name of Jesus but teaches that Jesus is only a man and not God yet they demand absolute loyalty from people.
People get sucked in to their doctrines because most people don’t read the Bible thoroughly, even professing Christians. If we really love Jesus more than we love ourselves and more than we love anyone or anything else in this world then everything will fall into its right place in an orderly manner.
The Lord commanded us to love our enemies, how much more to love our immediate family? The Bible says that if you are a Christian and you do not provide or take care of your own family, you have denied the faith and you are worse than an unbeliever or an infidel (1 Timothy 5:8). So, Jesus’ statements in (Luke 14:25-26) and (Matthew 10:37) should not be interpreted literally. Jesus was talking spiritual. Like for example, in (Matthew 23:9) “Do not call anyone on earth father’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.” This is spiritual. Is it sin then to call our Dad, father? No. But no one should call religious leaders FATHER. So, why is it that the Catholic call the Pope and the priest father? Because Catholics are pagans, frankly speaking.
Let us go back to loving Jesus more than anyone and anything else in this world:
If we really love Jesus Christ with all our hearts loving Him more than anything or anyone in this world, then the Divine love that comes from God through the Holy Spirit will overflow in our hearts. That’s the only time that we can love even the unlovable.
(ROMANS 5:5) “Because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
(1 CORINTHIANS 16:22), “IF ANYONE DOES NOT LOVE THE LORD–A CURSE BE ON HIM.” The question is why is this very strong command? Again this is spiritual. Only by truly loving Jesus can we produce divine love which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
(1 CORINTHIANS 13:4 TO 7). “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” No human being can produce this kind of love without the help of the Holy Spirit of Jesus. (ROMANS 8:9) “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”
“WHO ARE THOSE WHO LOVE JESUS?”
(JOHN 14:15), “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”
(LUKE 6:46), “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
Only the Lord Jesus Christ can demand absolute and total loyalty and love without any competition because He is God. No one in the whole Bible uttered such strong statements. ONLY JESUS. To obey the Lord’s command is to show our love to God.
If we have been a Christian for a long time or have even been involved in the church ministry, even if we have been teaching the Bible, if there is no AGAPE or divine love that overflows in our hearts then we should question ourselves.
Do we feel compassion towards our own family in time of their hurts and need? Or there’s no love at all in our heart? In that case, how can you love your enemies when you cannot even love your own family?
Man by nature does not have the capability to give unconditional love towards others because man by nature is evil as the Bible says. And when man becomes Christian, living for Christ is not that easy. We have our own cross to bear when we follow Jesus. Our cross is not people around us. Each one of us has his / her own cross. Greed, selfishness, envy, jealousy, hatred, bad attitudes, fleshly desires, etcetera, etcetera are still in us which we cannot get rid of through our own power. But all these work of the flesh in us will only be replaced by Divine love if we allow God’s love to overflow in our hearts. It will only overflow if we truly love Jesus more than any one and anything in this world.
THIS IS HOW TO TEST OURSELVES:
If there is no Divine love and compassion that overflows in our hearts toward others especially to our own family then for sure, we don’t truly love the Lord Jesus. Jesus cannot contradict Himself because He is God. On the other hand, it is futile to love our loved ones more than our love for God because that kind of love will not last. It is just human love. But if we love God first above all, then Divine love through His grace will manifest in our lives.