These notes from Jon Cardwell on The High Calling of Jesus as Our All in All are posted on the LTW blog, excerpted from the transcript of Jon’s book, Christ and Him Crucified.
The following commentary is from Jon Cardwell:
"If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple." (Luke 14:26)
Hate our family members? Hate even my own life? These are stern words from the Master. Did Jesus really mean that we must hate them? Is not this the same Jesus that told us we must love our enemies? (Matthew 5:43-48; Luke 6:27-28). Are we not told in His holy Word that if we hate our brother, we walk in darkness and do not abide in the light? (1 John 2:9-11). So what did Jesus mean when He said this?
Well, we need to keep in mind just who it is that has said these words. Although Jesus of Nazareth is completely human, yet without sin, He is also the Mighty God and the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6; John 10:24-33). Since Jesus is…God, He is worthy of our unwavering loyalty and undivided devotion.
In this statement He tells us that any relationship that competes with absolute abandon and unconditional surrender to Him should be utterly despised–"If any man…hate not his father…mother…wife…children…brethren…sisters…he cannot be My disciple." (Luke 14:26).
Some time earlier, when the Lord commissioned the Twelve to preach the gospel and sent them out to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, He taught them that any relationship that sought to surpass love and honor for Him was unworthy of His fellowship.