Did Jesus Get Confused?
And the second is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Jesus commands us to love one another in Matthew 22:39. Yet, notice what He said in Luke 14:26. Cross reference this with Romans 9:10-13. Did Jesus command us to do something and then change His mind? Did God literally hate someone Himself? Was Christ confused? Research and discuss at length your conclusions.
This absolute command sets the stage for one’s understanding of Luke 14:26. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2; Heb 6:18). As such, the Words of Scripture, being the Words of God (2 Tim 3:16), must be true. When apparent conflicts arise, such as in the case of the two verses of this question (Matt 22:39 & Luke 14:26), one must look for a spiritually discerned understanding of the apparent conflict. Such an investigation must begin with the context of Luke 14:26.
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.
10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
These three sets of verses provide an interesting study in the use of figurative speech and the serious need of the Bible student to understand and study the context of statements. The Matthew passage is straightforward and is an absolute command throughout Scripture. The Luke passage presents a comparative study in the concept of terms, while the Romans passage is dependent upon a good, solid biblical foundation in the Old Testament history and theology.
The first verse (parallel at Mark 12:28-34) is the statement of the second greatest command. In the preceding chapters and the early part of Matthew 22, Jesus has been dealing with the Jewish religious leaders as they attempt to place Christ in a position whereby they may condemn Him. In verses 22-33 the Sadducees have tested Jesus and now the Pharisees attempt to trap Him (v34). One of the Pharisees, a lawyer (scribe) asks Him the question (v36): "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus answers quotes from Old Testament sources.
The Lord’s answer is stated as an absolute answer to the lawyer’s question. Jesus states the first commandment is to love God, fully, completely, and absolutely (v37). This statement is taken from Deuteronomy 6:4-5. The Lord goes on to provide the second commandment as being to "love your neighbor as yourself." This is a quote from Leviticus 19:18. It occurs as an absolute command throughout the New Testament, although not always as a direct quote. The command to love one’s neighbor grows out of loving God. It is only by loving God that one is able to fully comprehend, understand, and execute the commandment to love others.
That these two commandments form the entire scope of serving God is found in Jesus statement at verse 40 where He tells those around Him that "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." The second commandment flows from the first. Those who would analyze the Law will find the greatest commandment (Matt 22:37) encompasses the first four of the Ten Commandments and the obligation to love one’s neighbor (Matt 22:39) as encompassing the remaining six of the Ten Commandments. In practical terms, only those who have fulfilled the commandment of loving God will be able to truly love their neighbor.
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