If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:26)
At first glance, this is a hard text. Throughout the Bible, we are told to love our brothers, honor our parents, and love our spouses. Yet this text states that we are to hate them. Is this a contradiction of scripture? Two rules of interpretation answer the question. First, always interpret the implicit with the explicit. That is, understand the unclear with the clear. The second rule is to interpret in context. That is, utilize the surrounding words and verses to understand the meaning of the unclear text. If we utilize these two rules, we will find that we’re being instructed not to embrace this life over the eternal life promised in Christ. This life compared to eternity is to be hated. The temporal is simply not to be loved above the eternal. The only life that matters is the life found in Christ. We are to love people, and the eternal life available to them, not the temporal life they presently inhabit.