Written Word

Unless You Hate Your Father And Mother

Large crowds were travelling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:25-26)

‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ (Matthew 10:34-36)

On a Personal Note

I was twenty-four when I made my decision to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. I did the unthinkable – I left my Catholic faith, and saw my family divided as a result.

I had started to attend a Bible study, which was a new experience for me. I was drawn to the Word of God, attracted by the truth that the Word never changes; its message is the same in every generation. And the idea of simply following Jesus like those first Christians made sense to me. It was compelling.

For months I wrestled with the decision I knew I had to make. But I knew my family would be devastated. There were times when I wept knowing the hurt I would cause them. I reflected on how good my parents had been and the sacrifices they had made. It seemed that I would be acting in a cruel and ungrateful manner. But the call of God was too strong to resist. On the 11th of June 1967 after a Sunday night Bible class, I committed my life to the Lord and was baptised. I have never regretted that decision.

On the Positive Side

It would be foolish to let the cost of following Jesus overshadow the eternal blessing resulting from obedience. The unpalatable truth is that we are sinners, separated from God and unable to reconcile ourselves to him. However, what we are unable to do, Jesus did on our behalf. He has shown himself to be indispensable to our spiritual recovery. And when our own family stands in our way, the decision to follow Jesus must take precedent. Not wanting to cause disruption in one’s family is an honourable desire, but if that decision keeps one from becoming a disciple of Jesus, then it is the worst decision one can ever make.

Jesus wants each of us to put him first, to make him the Lord of our life, to have no one else in our heart but him. And he wants this level of commitment so that he can bestow upon us all the rich and wonderful blessings that come from having a relationship with him.

He wants us to give up everything so that he can give us everything.