Hating Father and Mother
Jesus must have shocked many that day when He said, “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” (Luke 14:26). Did Jesus mean that we’re to hate our parents, our spouse, our children, and our brothers and sisters? Aren’t we to love one another? Well, let’s put it this way. I love chocolate ice cream, and I hate (by comparison) vanilla. That doesn’t mean I won’t eat vanilla because if you put chocolate topping on it, I can tolerate it. What Jesus is saying is that our love for Him should look in contrast or in comparison to what we feel for our family, like that of hating them. That is, we must love God first and then, later down the line, love our neighbor. Jesus gives us a better grasp on this statement by saying, “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt 10:37). To love Christ is to love Him much, much more than anyone, including our family.
Kill Them in front of Me
In Luke 19 Jesus said, “Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me” (Luke 19:27). Wow! Isn’t that sort of strong Jesus? No, not really. I witnessed to a man who said that he was waiting on deciding to believe in Christ. He said that he is on the fence right now, but I warned him that the fence will also be cast into hell because no decision or to be indecisive is to choose to reject the King, and that will not go well on Judgment Day (Rev 20:12-15). Jesus was clear about this, saying, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Matt 12:30). You cannot be undecided about Jesus because if you’re not for Him or you’ve made no decision for Him, then you are against Him and He is against you. To reject the King is to be an enemy of the King, and they will be slain before Him.
I Bring a Sword
Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law” (Matt 10:34). Trusting in Christ truly does divide families. Near the end of His ministry, Jesus was grieved that most rejected Him, and He knew what was to be the end of Jerusalem and all who lived there when it was destroyed in AD 70. “As Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you” (Luke 19:41-44). Really Jesus? “To dash their children and them to the ground?” Wow! However, it wouldn’t be Jesus or God doing this, but the Romans as their judgment for rejecting Jesus as their Savior and King. He was actually being merciful and trying to warn them, but the reason Jesus wept was because He knew the vast majority would reject Him as their only possible hope.
Jesus spoke some very hard words because in Judea at that time there were some very hard hearts. Hard words can soften hearts, while soft words can only harden hearts. These sayings might surprise you, but these hard words were for their own good, and they are for those who have still yet rejected Christ, but He says them so that they might repent and trust in Him, thereby avoiding the wrath of God