To those who would follow Him, Jesus commanded, “if any man come to me, and hate not his father and mother, wife and children, and brethren and sisters and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26). There have been people who have heard this passage of scripture read in meetings and have immediately relinquished their profession of following Christ.
Are we actually to hate our own family and brother? Jesus most certainly did not mean we were to have malice and malignity in our hearts towards our family, but that it is not to be above normal affection. When such affection for our families becomes worship, then that affection has become idolatry, for family affection has stolen what belongs to God. In that respect, we are to love our families less than we love God. The command of Jesus was no license for anyone to neglect his family, or his rightful duties, under the guise of serving God. Anyone truly serving God is very diligent about the welfare of his family, both in their physical and spiritual needs. God’s commands are righteous and just. There is nothing that has precedence over the will of God.
Peter was once very bold in his claim that he would follow Jesus to death if necessary. It was but a few hours later that Peter denied his Lord three times. This denial caused Peter so much sorrow and such searching of his own heart that he repented and renewed his vows to God and made such a consecration to serve God that he never failed again. Peter became a great man of faith and served the Lord faithfully to the end of his life. So we have a price to pay, and pay it we must if we are to obtain all God has in store for us. If we pay it, great will be our reward on earth.
Bro Gift Lungu (Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe)