I read a post where the author cited Luke 14:23-33 as “the night [his] ‘disciple’s armor’ began to crack”. Let’s take a look at Luke 14:23-33
Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone 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. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.
So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
From the reading of Luke 14:23-33, the author’s takeaway was that Jesus wanted and demanded the hatred of one’s own family.
Scripture should always interpret scripture, so let’s take a look at the same teaching recorded in Matthew 10:34-30
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
“Matthew 10:37 is a comparative statement (“more than me”) and is not teaching hate as a condition for being Jesus’ disciple. Jesus was explaining here, the Gospel will always produce opposition from those who don’t receive it.
This “sword of division,” even among family members, is not God’s will nor is it God who causes it, but it will inevitably come. Jesus was simply preparing His disciples. As much as we would like to see everyone receive the good news, we must not think it’s strange when even our loved ones don’t receive it. Jesus was rejected by His own (John 1:11), and we will be also (Matthew 10:24-25). We must remain faithful to keep preaching the Gospel, for there are others who will receive.
This parable of the man building a tower is continuing the teaching of what it takes to be a disciple of Jesus. This parable is stressing commitment. “Jailhouse religion,” where people are only sorry they got caught and are trying to get out of a bad situation, will not produce true discipleship. It takes a forsaking of all (Luke 14:33) to be Jesus’ disciple. Jesus was simply saying, “Count the cost.”
This second parable of Jesus’ teaching on discipleship is once again emphasizing commitment. Just as a king wouldn’t engage in war without thoroughly considering all the possible outcomes, so no one should attempt to become a disciple of Jesus without counting the cost. It would be better never to start following Jesus than to start and then turn back (Luke 9:62 and 2 Peter 2:20-22).
When we first come to Jesus, it is impossible to know everything that following Jesus might entail. None of us, however, should be fearful of making a total commitment because of some imagined problem that may never come to pass. There should be a willingness to forsake everything to follow Jesus. Once we make that decision, then Christ begins to live through us (Galatians 2:20), and we find a strength that is not our own, equal to whatever test we may encounter.
Just as in John 2:23-25, Jesus knew the people’s hearts, and therefore He did not commit Himself to this crowd… Jesus exposed the true intent of these people’s hearts by preaching a strong message of commitment. Those who were self-centered were offended and left (John 6:66), while those who were willing to lay down their lives so that they could experience God’s abundant life (Luke 9:24 and John 10:10) remained (John 6:68). Commitment to God Himself (not what He can produce) is what always separates the true worshipers of God (John 4:23) from the false…
In these verses, we see Jesus did something that very few ministers of the Gospel will do today. He preached a hard message of commitment, knowing that many of these people would follow Him no more. Many times, we see Christians today compromise the message in an effort to win more people. Regardless of how well ministers can argue this point and justify their actions, this is not the way that Jesus ministered. Jesus was always more interested in quality than quantity. We would do well to follow His example.”
Taken from AWMI Bible Commentary.
This is our Lord Jesus speaking to His disciples in John 13: 34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.