Read: (a few verses to highlight what Jesus/New Testament says about love/hate)
“All who hate a brother or sister are murderers, and you know that murderers do not have eternal life abiding in them.” John 3:15
Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also. 1John 4:20-21
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven…” Matthew 5:43-45a
And from last week:
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26
Last week in my WISH post I highlighted one of the most perplexing verses in the Bible, Luke 14:26. This week we contrast it with other verses. Luke 14:26 is the only place in the Bible where Jesus makes such a comment, and it is in glaring contrast to everything we’ve ever been taught or believed about Jesus. It’s so odd that if we stated it the opposite way, it would actually make more sense!
“If anyone comes to me and does not LOVE his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.”
But that’s not what the Bible says, it really does say “hate”. The Greek word for “hate” is “misew”. In all of the verses above that is the word that is used in the Greek, and translated into our English language Bibles. Jesus is using hyperbole to make His point. This example for me illustrates three important takeaways:
- The importance of good Bible study
2. That we cannot take the Bible literally in all places, it wasn’t intended to be.
3. The value of the Wesleyan quadrilateral: scripture, reason, tradition, experience; we use (need) all four in understanding God, the Bible, and the Christian faith.
Shalom, Pastor Rob Nystrom