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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. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:25-27 NIV
What did Jesus mean here when He used the word hate? Jesus taught us about God’s love for mankind, and our need to love others as we love ourselves. So, what did He mean here? I believe what Jesus is telling us here is that anyone who loves anyone else more than they love Him, they could not be His disciple. If we have more love for some other human than we do for Christ, then how can we love Him with all our heart, mind, and soul, and be totally dedicated to doing what He asks of us? Christ must come first in our lives. We must be totally submissive to Him, loving Him, and having Him at the center of our hearts and souls. From this obedience and love of Christ will outpour love for father and mother, brother and sister, and all other people. We must love Christ more than we love ourselves. We must do that which He asks of us, even if it conflicts with what we believe we want. Christ knows what is best for each of us.
If we are not willing to pick up our cross daily, giving up our worldly desires to follow in the footsteps of our Master, then we are not able to be His follower.
I wonder how much smaller the crowd surrounding Jesus became after He spoke the above words. Do not let anything or anyone deter you from following the Lord. Pick up that cross of yours and follow in His footsteps each day. Many blessings will belong to you!
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