The first day of kindergarten is always a momentous occasion, a day that parents and children alike eagerly anticipate. Preparing for this first day can be quite involved: emergency contacts are to be named, medical issues documented, and release forms signed.
What would you do if the school demanded that each student hate their father, mother, brother, and sister, even their own lives? Would you send your child to a school that advertised that as a requirement?
Probably not. The demand to hate family and friends seems overly harsh and cruel. Who in their right mind would ever propose such a criterion? Jesus proposes such a criterion.
Jesus says explicitly that if someone wishes to enroll in the school of discipleship, he or she must be willing to “hate their father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters — yes even life itself” (Luke 14:26). Jesus is clear and pointed; his words cannot be misunderstood.
How do we reconcile such an extreme statement with the other