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.
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(26) If any man come to me, and hate not his father.—Like words had been spoken before, as in Matthew 10:37-39, where see Notes. Here they appear in a yet stronger form, “not hating” taking the place of “loving more,” and they are spoken, not to the Twelve only, but to the whole multitude of eager would-be followers. Self-renunciation, pushed, if necessary, to the extremest issues, is with Jesus the one indispensable condition of discipleship. He asks for nothing less than the heart, and that cannot be given by halves.

14:25-35 Though the disciples of Christ are not all crucified, yet they all bear their cross, and must bear it in the way of duty. Jesus bids them count upon it, and then consider of it. Our Saviour explains this by two similitudes; the former showing that we must consider the expenses of our religion; the latter, that we must consider the perils of it. Sit down and count the cost; consider it will cost the mortifying of sin, even the most beloved lusts. The proudest and most daring sinner cannot stand against God, for who knows the power of his anger? It is our interest to seek peace with him, and we need not send to ask conditions of peace, they are offered to us, and are highly to our advantage. In some way a disciple of Christ will be put to the trial. May we seek to be disciples indeed, and be careful not to grow slack in our profession, or afraid of the cross; that we may be the good salt of the earth, to season those around us with the savour of Christ.See notes on Matthew 10:37-38. 26, 27. If any man, &c.—(See on [1671]Mt 10:34-36, and Mr 8:34, 35). See Poole on "Luke 14:25"

If any man come to me,.... Not in a corporeal, but in a spiritual way; nor barely to hear him preach; but so come, as that he believes in him, applies to him for grace, pardon, righteousness, life, and salvation; professes to be his, submits to his ordinances, and desires to be a disciple of his;

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: not that proper hatred of any, or all of these, is enjoined by Christ; for this would be contrary to the laws of God, to the first principles of nature, to all humanity, to the light of nature, to reason and divine revelation: but that these are not to be preferred to Christ, or loved more than he, as it is explained in Matthew 10:37 yea, these are to be neglected and forsaken, and turned from with indignation and resentment, when they stand in the way of the honour and interest of Christ, and dissuade from his service: such who would be accounted the disciples of Christ, should be ready to part with their dearest relations and friends, with the greatest enjoyment of life, and with life itself, when Christ calls for it; or otherwise they are not worthy to be called his disciples. The Ethiopic version inserts, "his house", into the account.

If any man come to me, and {d} 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.

(d) If anything stands between God and him, as Theophylact says: and therefore these words are spoken in a comparative way, and not by themselves.

Luke 14:26-27. The requirements of true discipleship (Matthew 10:37-39).

26. and hate not his father and mother] It is not so much the true explanation to say that hate here means love less (Genesis 29:31), as to say that when our nearest and dearest relationships prove to be positive obstacles in coming to Christ, then all natural affections must be flung aside; comp. Deuteronomy 13:6-9; Deu 21:19-21; Deu 33:8-9. A reference to Matthew 10:37 will shew that ‘hate’ means hate by comparison. Our Lord purposely stated great principles in their boldest and even most paradoxical form by which He alone has succeeded in impressing them for ever as principles on the hearts of His disciples. The ‘love of love’ involves a necessity for the possible ‘hate of hate,’ as even worldly poets have understood.

“Va, je t’aimais trop pour ne pas te hair.”

“I could not love thee, dear, so much

Loved I not honour more.”


yea, and his own life also] This further explains the meaning of the word ‘hate.’ The psuche ‘soul’ or ‘animal life’ is the seat of the passions and temptations which naturally alienate the spirit from Christ. These must be hated, mortified, crucified if they cannot be controlled; and life itself must be cheerfully sacrificed, Revelation 12:11; Acts 20:24.

“Il faut vivre dans ce monde,” says St Francis de Sales, “comme si nous avions l’esprit au ciel, et le corps au tombeau.”

Luke 14:26. [Εἴ τις, if any man) Wherever the greatest multitude of men flocked together, there at times Jesus used especial sternness of language.—V. g.]—οὐ μισεῖ τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ, doth not hate his father) viz. hate his father, etc., in that respect, in which he is bound to hate himself (τὴν εἁυτοῦ ψυχήν), namely, whereinsoever father, etc., or self are inconsistent with love to Christ [are averse from Christ]. This text applies to that time especially, in which few were really following Christ: many hated, who deserved to be hated themselves. This hatred must be understood not merely in the comparative [hate, i.e. love less] or conditional and qualified sense, but even absolutely: For whoever hath derived from Christ a ripened knowledge, taste, and appetite for God and heavenly good things (Luke 14:16, the viands of the “great supper”), has also a contempt and hatred of self and of the whole creature that [of the whole creation, so far as it] is subject to vanity, a hatred that is at once high-spirited and yet at the same time removed from all bitterness of feeling. Comp. note, John 12:25.—ἀδελφοὺς, brethren) Comp. Luke 14:12.—ἔτι δὲ, yea besides his own life) What is dearest to man, himself. Often he who has seemed to attain to a lower degree of this holy hatred, proves wanting in a higher degree of it.—τὴν εἁυτοῦ ψυχὴν, his own soul or life) i.e. himself.—μαθητὴς εἶναι, my disciple he cannot be) The order is reversed in the following verse, εἶναι μαθητὴς, be my disciple. In both passages the accent in pronunciation falls upon the word which stands first.[148]

[148] Tisch. however, with BLX Fuld. MS. of Vulg. (“esse meus discipulus:” and indeed the other MSS. “meus esse disc,” and so Hilary) reads εἶναί μου μαθητής. But Lachm. reads as Beng. and Rec. Text, μου μαθητὴς εἶναι, with ADabc, Orig. 1,299b, twice.—E. and T.

Verse 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. The Lord's teaching throughout, in parable and in direct saying, pressed home to his followers that no home love, no earthly affection, must ever come into competition with the love of God. If home and his cause came ever into collision, home and all belonging to it must gently be put aside, and everything must be sacrificed to the cause. Farrar quotes here from Lovelace -

"I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not honour more."
Luke 14:26
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