Steven asked:

The Sunday reading was Luke 14:26 which says "If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple." Does he really mean this? This is harsh language.

Jimmy Akin replied:

"... He meant you can’t prefer anything to him. You have to recognize that as God he has transcendent value compared to anyone else in this life. If there's a conflict between what he wants and what someone else wants, we gotta go with what Jesus wants.

Now he does use arresting language to express that. The specific form of language that he uses is what's known as hyperbole. Hyperbole is exaggeration to make a point. So when Jesus says you gotta hate your father and mother and wife and everybody in order to be my disciple, that's exaggeration to make a point. He doesn't really mean you have to hate them. In fact Jesus himself is known for saying you oughta love everybody even your enemies. Given that basic fact about his teaching he expects us to recognize his statement about hating others for what it is ... This is incidentally characteristic of the way Jesus taught. He often would use arresting images and expressions to try to get us to think about, he would spell it out fully, to get us to think about it and engage it intellectucally ..."


Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Catholic Answers, "Open Forum" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2013)

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Show air date: September 12, 2013

Name of show: Open Forum

Guest comments by: Jimmy Akin

Question appeared in show: 47:28

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