This past week I visited a Sunday School class where Luke 14:25-35 was the topic. The opening discussion focused on verse 26:
“Whoever comes to me and doesn’t hate father and mother, spouse and children, and brothers and sisters—yes, even one’s own life—cannot be my disciple.
Actually, the focus was almost entirely on one word in that verse. The word? Hate.
After listening patiently to several people find different ways around Jesus actually telling people to hate, I offered this:
It is interesting to hear all of us talk around and explain away the use of the word hate. But the word is “hate.” There’s no question about it.
I hope we’ll all be gracious and understanding when other people do the same thing with other parts of the Bible.
Let’s face it: everyone reads the Bible this way: we take some passages more literally and some less. We take some verses more seriously than others. We ALL use some scriptures to trump others.
We ALL do this.
May we all learn the skill of responding graciously and with the love of Jesus when someone takes a verse differently than we do!