Hate your life! – A Bible Reflection

A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else – your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.

But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’

Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.

Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!

Luke 14:25-35 NLT

I’ve included a bit of the context of Jesus’s sayings. But what intrigues me is: What does Jesus really mean by ‘You must hate even your own life’ or ‘You cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own’?

I have tended to interpret the demand to renounce my own desires in a passive sense: Don’t make any plans; just wait and see how God leads. But is that the meaning?

I’m not looking for a linguistic analysis of what the Aramaic wording might have been, nor an abstruse theological argument as why He probably meant the opposite of what He said. I just wish to understand Jesus’s heart a bit better. What is He trying to tell me?

I’d be pleased to hear other people’s answers before adding my own conclusion.

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