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Did Jesus Get Confused?

Matthew 22:39
And the second is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
KJV

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.


Jesus dines with a Pharisee (Luke 14:1). It is the Sabbath and Jesus heals a man with dropsy (v2-4). This raises the continuing conflict of the "legal rules" for the Sabbath with Christ’s actions. In verses 5-6 Jesus uses the Jews’ own benevolence for their herds as proof that healing a person is more important than the "rules." The Lord then moves into a parable concerning pride and humility in relations to one’s place in the kingdom,. Luke 14:11 sets forth the key statement of the parable for purposes of understanding verse 26 in relation to Matthew 22:39: "For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

Jesus commences a second parable about a great feast at verse 16. This parable discusses how "many" (the Jews) were invited (by God) to a great wedding feast, but when it was time to actually attend, they all make excuses and were unable to come to the feast. Accordingly, the master of the house (God) sent his servant out to the highways to invite others (the Gentiles) to attend. The key here is verse 24: "For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper."

Luke 14:25 implies that Jesus left the feast after providing the parable of the great feast and that many people went with Him. Since we are dealing with a feast being held at the house of a Pharisee, those following the Lord would have been virtually all Jewish. It is at this point that Jesus turns to the crowd and addresses them with the verse in question. The context of the presentation is clearly the rejection of God by the Jews in favor of their own religious traditions. Jesus uses this setting to explain actual discipleship – following God at a cost.

 

Luke 14:27 amplifies the individual application of the choice for or against God as being a conscious decision by the disciple. Verses 28-32 present the concept of a cost to discipleship. To a great extent, the cost being discussed in this entire chapter is the price of "pride" and self-centeredness. To follow Jesus, one must give up all sense of self and pride. To follow Jesus, one must place everything else behind God’s call. In modern management terms, God must become the disciple’s number one priority.

This need to prioritize is highlighted in verse 33: "So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." The disciple must become the "salt" of God. If salt looses its flavor, it has no value. Likewise, if the disciple taints following God with concerns of life, he looses his value to God (v34-35). Therefore, when Jesus draws the comparison of hate in verse 26, He is telling us that to place family or friends above God is to hate God. Such a person has placed others ahead of God, and, thus, is unfit to follow God.

However, when one "hates" his family in the sense of placing God first, one is now a true disciple of God. The disciple has accomplished the great commandment of Matthew 22:37. This allows and empowers the disciple to carryout the second greatest commandment of loving one’s neighbor as a disciple of Jesus. One’s family members are certainly one’s closet neighbors – or, at least, they should be! This type of "hating" actually provides the power to accomplish and comply with the commandments of the Matthew passages. Jesus was neither confused nor contradictory in these verses. Jesus was actually explaining the cost involved in being able to accomplish the greatest commandment. It is by "hating" family, friends, materialism, and any other distractions of our lives that enable us to be true disciples of Jesus.

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September 15, 2019

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