Aloha Friday Message – September 4, 2016 – Love-Hate Debate

1636AFC090216 – Love-Hate Debate

Read it online here, please. And please, when you visit there, use one of the social media links at the bottom of the page to share this post. Thank you!

Luke 14:26-27 26 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. 27 Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

Aloha pumehana, ʻŌmea. Today I want to peek into this Bible verse which is the “opening line” in This Sunday’s Gospel. I want to look at it because it is another example of Jesus’ radically different viewpoint about our relationships with God and with each other. Without looking into this properly – in context – we might be tempted to say, “How can Jesus say such a thing! Am I really going to hate my father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, friends and neighbors? I thought Jesus wants us to love everyone. This must be a mistake!” It is not a mistake. Let’s find out why by looking at other things Jesus told us.

Let’s begin with a parallel Gospel quotation that is very similar, but which also gives us more insight to what Jesus was saying. It is found in Matthew 10:37-38 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Here we see that we are to prefer Jesus to all others. In this verse the verb for love is φιλῶν (philon’) {phee-lōn’} derived from φιλέω (phileó) {fil-eh’-o} – familial or brotherly love. Whoever would “philon” instead of “agape” Jesus does not love Jesus with greater honor than family. Still, it says quite clearly in our quote from Luke, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother ….” We need to look at the word here for “hate.”

The word used here, and in most other Gospel passages that use the word hate is μισεῖ (misei) {mis-eh-i) from μισέω (miseó) {mis-eh’-o}. The root meaning of the word is to detest by comparison. It means to choose one thing or person over another – or the other way around – to love someone or something less than the other. If there is a choice, especially a nearly equivalent choice, μισέω is to turn down one choice over the other. Jesus is telling us he expects us to love one another greatly but to love God even more. Consider these passages about loving each other for example:

Matthew 5:43-48 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 15:4-6 For God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’ But you say that whoever tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is given to God,’ then that person need not honor the father. So, for the sake of your tradition, you make void the word of God.

Matthew 19:17-19 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; 19 Honor your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

God is Jesus’ Father and, by adoption, he is our Father as well. We honor God by honoring our parents as well as wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, because God is Love and we are created in his image and likeness; we are to be love (phileo) for one another even to the point of Divine Love (agape), but in Loving one another, we ought always love God more that all others. We are to be prepared to suffer the loss of all that is precious to us in exchange for the Love and loyalty we give to God – depending on him in all things ranging from wealth to poverty, from comfort to pain, or from joyfulness to anguish. God’s gift of this life is so precious because it is given to us expressly for the purpose of losing it – and how we do that is what opens for us the Straight Road, the Narrow Gate, and the realization of his promised Everlasting and Eternal Life. Jesus himself tells us in John 12:25 25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

Finally, ʻŌmea, consider these:

Matthew 6:24No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

Luke 16:1313 No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

John 7:7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify against it that its works are evil.

John 15:18 18 If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you.

Let us therefore in all things submit to the loving authority of our God in Christ Jesus, who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-16)

Given the choice between God my Father, and my Dad and Mom – well, I love my parents, and my siblings, and my friends, my remarkable spouse, and even my home, my work, my life – but, I will choose Christ, I will choose Love, I will chose Hope because to choose anything or anyone else would be a huge self-deception. Remember this:

1 Corinthians 3:16-23 16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

18 Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written,
“He catches the wise in their craftiness,”
20 and again,
“The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise,
that they are futile.”

21 So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all belong to you, 23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God. (See Deuteronomy 30:15-20 – choose LIFE!)

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Belovéd!

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Creative Commons License
Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Biblical languages inserts from Bible Hub (Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages) Visit at


Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Type answer *

Pages Email Newsletter Categories Archives Connect