Summary: Could Jesus really mean for us to hate our families?
What If Jesus Really Meant What He Said? Hating My Family?
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
• And in the midst of this marvel, God also created the concept of family.
• Man, woman, marriage and children--they are all found in the first four chapters of God’s epic story.
• Even though God’s concept of family was perfect, our ability to live out that model has always been woefully inadequate as witnessed by the first child murdering the second.
God created family values!
• By the time we get past God’s covenant with Abraham to be his family’s source and protector, we see the Ten Commandments—rules God gave the Israelites to protect their status with Him and each other.
• The commandments devoted to people relationships begin with this verse: Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. (Ex. 20:12)
Throughout the pages of the NT, family values are the values of God.
• The Apostles, particularly John and Paul, stress the rule of love.
• We are probably all acquainted with the greatest commandments as given by Jesus: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and Love your neighbor as yourself.
Let’s remember to ‘love our neighbor’ as we spend some time together before sharing in the Lord’s Table… Meet & Greet… Lord’s Supper…
1 Timothy 5:8, If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
So knowing the importance and value God has always placed on the family, what do we do with these two passages you see on the screen?
• Luke 14:26, 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.
• Matthew 10:34-37, 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.’ Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
Are we missing something here?
• The consensus opinion is that Jesus is using an exaggerated hy-per-bo-le to get across the point that He has to be our greatest love--we must love others less than we love Him.
• As good and logical as that sounds, I have to wonder if Tim Ritter is right when he says in his book Not a Safe God, that we have taken a radical statement by Jesus and made it fairly innocuous.
The fact of the matter is that the standard of Jesus is dangerous and radical! When I choose to be become a Christian, my allegiance changes!
• I love my father and you can’t make me say a bad thing about him.
• My Mother is the greatest; my brother and sisters are wonderful.
• I couldn’t ask for a better wife or more beautiful children.
• I have been so very blessed.
But with great respect to the family that has loved and nurtured me, in choosing Christ, I have also chosen a new Father and a new family.
• My genetics come from one place, but instead of genes, I must choose grace.
• The bloodline that counts is not my ancestry but the blood shed on the cross.
• As unnatural as it might sound to say it, my Christian family has to come first.
And that’s what’s so radical about the message of Jesus.
• Family was everything in the Jewish way of life.
• Nothing came between or before those relationships and commitments.
• And yet Jesus says I want you to choose me to the extent that if your family gets in the way of your relationship with your new Father and your new brothers and sisters, I will be your ultimate choice!
So what if Jesus really meant what he said? What if this radical statement about hating our families is the reality Jesus demands?
There is a sense in which the entire story of the Bible can be boiled down to one choice.
• Adam and Eve were given the choice to obey God.
• And every man and every woman and every child since then has been given the very same choice.
• Joshua 24:14-15, “Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”