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Illustration of Jesus sitting on a mountain
Did Jesus Really Teach His Disciples To Hate Their Families?
History - Religion
Jesus was supposedly all about getting us to love each other, yet in one confusing passage in the New International Version of the Bible, he tells us to do the exact opposite.
It reads, "If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters — yes, even their own life — such a person cannot be my disciple."
The line is part of a longer passage about the cost of being a disciple. Christ warns his followers that a life lived with him involves sacrifices they may not be willing to make.
Further along in the passage, Christ underlines his point by saying "... those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples."
Church father Cyril of Alexandria wrote that Jesus didn’t really mean it when he told his followers to hate others — he just meant that they should love him above all else.
Cyril wrote, "For He demands for Himself our chief affection." Loving Jesus or God first also seems to be reiterated in the Gospel of Matthew 22:37.
In Matthew, when Jesus is asked what God’s greatest commandment is he responds "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'"
This is the first and greatest commandment, and the second is similar: "Love your neighbor as yourself." No matter how much you love your family, God is priority number one.