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Website owner:  James Miller


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What did Jesus mean?




   There are many statements that Jesus made that are cryptic, 
   puzzling, hard to understand.  Even his disciples had 
   difficulty understanding some of the things he said.  Consider 
   the following statement: 

   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


   If we attempt to take the statement literally, it would be 
   quite perplexing, especially considering the emphasis Jesus 
   placed on loving one's neighbor.  And surely he wasn't 
   suggesting abandoning our father, mother, wife, children, etc.  
   In I Timothy we read:

   But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those 
   of his own house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an 
   infidel.
                                        I Timothy 5:8

   So what was he attempting to say?  To answer that we need to 
   use our reason and common sense, consider other things he said.  
   From statements he made about loving your neighbor and the 
   general thrust of what he taught, we know he couldn't have 
   meant it literally.  I think he meant simply that if we want to 
   follow him we must put God first, put Him ahead of father, 
   mother, wife, children, etc.  If this is what he meant, why he 
   didn't say it more clearly, I don't know.  In this case I wonder 
   if the word hate has possibly been translated inaccurately. 

   There are many passages in the Bible that are hard to 
   understand.  The lesson here is that in trying to understand 
   them we must use our reason and common sense and consider other 
   scripture, consider the general thrust of what the Bible 
   teaches.


   Aug 2011


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