Sunday 4 September 2022

Hate your mother and father


“Now large crowds were travelling with Him; and He turned and said to them, 'Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. This is the Gospel from Luke Chapter 14 Verse 25 onwards.”

Father Ignatius waited until the congregation sat down and then he said, “Now the young children will go to the sacristy with their teachers for Sunday School.”

After the youngsters left he continued, “Today’s Gospel must be very confusing for young children. It talks about hating parents, spouses and the whole family. It also mentions people having to carry a cross daily.

“What is all that about?

“A member of this congregation told me that after hearing this reading at this morning’s Mass as he got home he picked up his wife over the threshold as newly married people do.

“His wife was surprised. He said, ‘didn’t you hear the priest today? He said pick up your cross!’ ”

The congregation laughed in unison. He waited a moment and continued.

“God is love. He created us out of love. He commanded that we love one another, even our enemies. The fifth commandment tells us to honour our parents. Yet here Jesus is talking about hate.

“In Matthew Chapter 11 Verse 28 onwards Jesus says, 'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.'

“Yet here He is telling us to pick up a cross in order to be His disciple. We all know what the Cross means. It was the cruellest way of execution devised by the Romans. Is that what Christ is asking of us?”

Father Ignatius stopped a while as he normally does to let the message sink in. He went on.

“These contradictions seem confusing to grown-ups not only to children.

“I do not think Jesus is literally asking us to hate our parents and relatives. He often exaggerated the point a little for the benefit of his audience at the time in order to make them understand His point. They certainly knew what the cross meant!

“Jesus here is teaching about commitment. Following Him is not just a fad. A temporary craze or whim just to be trendy. Being a follower of Jesus is a decision which we should make in the light of day, with a clear head, and in the full knowledge of what we are doing. It is a permanent commitment full of responsibilities, difficulties and often obstacles in our way.

“Christ never said that following Him would be easy. We will at times find life difficult. Often others may at the very least be curious about us, and perhaps even mock us. Our decision to follow Christ may well divide families who may not agree with our choices and way of life. In some countries our decisions to be Christians may well lead to persecution, suffering and even death.

“That is what Jesus meant by hating our families and picking up our cross.

“He meant, be careful about the decision you make before following Me. And once you make it, do not look back.

“In Luke Chapter 9 Verse 62 Jesus declared, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plough and then looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’

“That’s what today’s Gospel means. Decide to follow Christ and keep at it despite all adversities.Being His follower is a permanent lifestyle commitment.

“As our teacher priest told us when I was a novice in seminary ‘Being a priest is not an easy job. It is full of difficulties and pitfalls. It does not pay well. But the pension scheme is out of this world!' ”  


  1. can be full of contradictions.

  2. Wonderful! ... and I love that closing paragraph. It seems making a decision these days isn't given the weight it should. Perhaps I've even been guilty for promising something or another with my fingers crossed behind my back.
    Given the controversy and ill-will surrounding our church's upcoming split (United v. Global Methodist), I'm want to share this with my Bible study sisters. Thank you!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Mevely.

      I am not aware of the split you speak of. Is this in the USA alone or over here too? Please feel free to share this with your Bible school.

      God bless always.

    2. Good question, Victor. Honestly, I'm unsure. Except for attending congregational and town hall meetings, I'm secure in our congregation's desire to dis-affiliate with the UMC. As our district superintendent put it, "There's much more DIS-information out there than facts." In brief, I stand with those who prefer a more traditional approach to religion v. those who challenge the Book of Discipline and celebrate the more liberal side of society to include same-sex marriage.

    3. In this country too, there are those who are re-inventing Christianity to suit their own desires.

      God bless, Mevely. Best wishes.

  3. Dearest Victor,
    This reading all depends on the translation from the original... the personal interpretation.
    Pieter and I had never heard the 'hate' word in this reading by Luke 14:25-33.
    From Dutch translated it reads: 25 Many people came to Jesus. At one point He turned around and said, 26 "Whoever wants to belong to Me must love Me more than his father, mother, wife, children, brothers and sisters. I have to be worth even more to him than his own life. 27 Otherwise he cannot be my disciple. No one can be My disciple if he does not carry his cross and follow Me.
    From a Belgian version (=Dutch) it reads: From the Gospel of Luke 14, 25-33

    To follow Christ is not to act lightly and to free yourself from all worldly bonds.

    Large crowds of people went with Jesus. He turned to them and said:
    "Whoever follows me, but does not break with his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, even with his own life, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his cross and follow me on my way cannot be my disciple.

    Breaking with your Parents etc. is quite different from hating them...
    Knowing several languages it is often very tricky to translate a certain meaning as all can be lost and even work confusing. English is a very 'limited' language also.

    1. Thank you for this explanation, Mariette. I did not realise there was such a different version. In our Bible it always said "hate" which I found rather strange.

      I wonder what it says in a French or Italian (and other) translations.

      God bless.

    2. I found this:

      Si quelqu'un vient à moi, et s'il ne hait pas son père, sa mère, sa femme, ses enfants, ses frères, et ses soeurs, et même à sa propre vie, il ne peut être mon disciple.

      Se uno viene a me e non odia suo padre, e sua madre, e la moglie, e i fratelli, e le sorelle, e finanche la sua propria vita, non può esser mio discepolo.

      Both versions here use the word "Hate" = Hait and Odia.

      God bless.

    3. Victor, translations remain always very tricky and it depends what the original source was and WHO interprets it...

  4. What I get out of that is that we are to put God first in our lives above everybody and everything else.

  5. Love how you ended this story, Victor! And no, choosing to follow Jesus with everything we are isn't easy, and it is a journey that I must commit myself anew each and every day.

  6. Indeed, our love for Him should be our driving force for how we treat family. Excellent points.



God bless you.