Who Cannot be Christ’s Disciple?

Luke 14:26

“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.”

Anyone who comes to Jesus Christ to inherit salvation and to serve Him in His Kingdom cannot let anybody else hinder or affect him from following Jesus at His Word. No one should be more important than Christ. Even parents, spouse, children and siblings should not be allowed to interfere with Christ’s will concerning the Christian.

When Jesus said that His follower should “hate” his family members, He was not asking us to dishonour or despise them. That is because the Lord’s teaching in the Scriptures is that children should honour their parents (cf. Ex. 20:12), that spouses should love one another (cf. Eph. 5:25; Titus 2:4), and that parents love their children (cf. Titus 2:4; cf. Eph. 6:4). “Hate” here means that we must prefer God over our family members, if they disregard what God requires of us. It is to love God over and above all else.

Jesus also said that he who follows Him should also hate even his own life, or he cannot be His disciple. The call to salvation involves a call to self-denial (cf. Luke 17:33) and total surrender to Jesus’ authority as the Lord and King. Such selflessness may bring a disciple even to the point of death. True disciples are willing to even give up their lives, if God so wills.

Those who love self and close relatives / friends more than Christ cannot be His disciples!

Prabhudas Koshy