In Light of Luke 14:26

by Christopher Lovejoy on September 11, 2016

How do we make love real? And, in making love real, how do we keep it real?

How do we make love real, and how do we keep love real, in the ugly face of desecration and persecution, in the face of a world where desecration and persecution remain as mundane realities, in spite of the fact that many wonderful and amazing advances have been made in our lives and our world?

In the course of writing my most recent post, The End of Our World, I came to realize, albeit slowly, that love and compassion are not mere side orders in a life well lived. I also came to realize that humanity is destined to have love and compassion be absolutely central to who they are and what they do.

Admittedly, for me at least, both of these realizations are problematic at best.

I’ve wrestled, in mind and heart, soul and spirit, with the problematic status of giving and receiving love and compassion unconditionally for a long time, and for as long as I can remember, and after writing The End of Our World, I’ve come to a place where I can no longer ignore it.

I can no longer dismiss the urgency with which this issue presses the heart of my soul.

This post is a sincere attempt to begin a process of coming to terms with the nature and meaning of universal love so that I might extend, expand, and express this love with compassionate wisdom, without losing my edge, and I’d like to begin with a challenging scripture from the Holy Bible.

Disclaimer: I do not identify as Christian, I do not identify as a follower of Christ, and I do not wish to convert anyone to anything, as I do not wish to cede my personal sovereignty to anyone or anything for any reason; I do, however, recognize and respect the truth, the love, and the power of Christ Consciousness to inform and inspire positive change in this world, but I also reserve the right to explore and experiment with the Way, the Truth, and the Life as embodied and expressed by the Christ incarnate with a view towards serving as a beacon of harmony with the One as I grow to realize it

On the face of it, this scripture is a strange one, and I reproduce it here for ease of reference:

If any man come to me,
and hate not his father,
and mother, and wife, and children,
and brethren, and sisters,
yea, and his own life also,
he cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:26, Holy Bible, KJV

On the bible hub, 25 versions of this scripture are available for your consideration.

Most of these versions of the scripture are honest enough to use the word hate (or hateth), but a couple of them deviate, using such terms as disregard or abandon instead of hate. Hate is a much stronger, crisper word, and is used by Jesus for its intensity to drive home his point.

I also chose the classic King James Version (KJV) to bypass the political correctness that has informed (some might say “infected”) many of the other versions, because political correctness, in my view, is a tool of social control, albeit a well-meaning one (at least on the surface).

In reading the text around Luke 14:26, it became evident to me that it is part of a parable that Jesus was sharing with a group of men called Pharisees, and so, there might be some question as to whether Jesus actually experienced the events described in this text and verse.

Luke 14:26 also carries a very interesting context, at least to me. The previous verse, 14:25, states: Large crowds were now traveling with Jesus, and He turned and said to them, ….

Why were so many following him? Presumably because he was feeding them, healing them, and teaching them at no cost to them, serving as an example for others to follow. Imagine, if you will, large numbers of people clamoring to get their share of your beneficence. Imagine, too, being faced with the unenviable task of responding to this clamor in keeping with the message of universal love.

How would you respond?

Luke 14:26 is incredibly rich with implication, but we need to do some digging before we can come to some understanding about what is being said here. Jesus, in effect, is saying “you cannot learn from me or grow with me unless you hate everyone in your life, including your own life.”

Does this not sound odd?

Not if you understand, at least on the surface, that hating becomes total when you descend into hating your own life (or, perish the thought, even yourself), such that your needs for salvation and redemption become that much greater, but I think there’s a deeper meaning.

The word hate simply means this: “feel intense or passionate dislike for.” When people seethe with hatred, when they hate their lives and each other, what do you suppose they are hating?

Are they hating the vital spirit that brings us to life, that animates us all? Are they hating the vital spirit that keeps us whole at the heart of soul, that would have us see and hear and feel that everyone else could also be whole in soul? Obviously not. Then what might they be hating?

Hint: it helps to know that everyone bears the burden of a child in pain within, some more than others.

Let us make this a little more personal: when you seethe with hatred, when you hate your life, another, or others, what are you hating? What are you feeling intense or passionate dislike for? Might it be the price you pay to keep your hungry spirit alive, that keeps your body alive, and not just alive, but alive? And might it also be the depthless depths to which the energy of this hungry spirit can do you wrong?

Food, money, and sex: is this not what many mostly live and long for, at least on some level? How else to feed the hungry, beastly spirit within, if not by shamelessly (or guiltily, as the case may be) seducing, deceiving, obligating, manipulating, and exploiting others into submission (even with a light touch)?


Love who?


Why love (without condition) anyone at all when you’re preoccupied with feeding the hungry beast within? Can you not hear this refrain of humanity?: I don’t wanna love any body without condition; I only wanna love those who can help me feed the hungry beast within.

Large crowds were now traveling with Jesus, calling out loudly and insistently to draw his attention to them, to get a fair share of his feeding, healing, and teaching, and He turned and said to them, … If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple, cannot learn from me and grow with me.

In one fell swoop, Jesus calls on all of them to face the insatiable spirit, to aim their capacities for intense dislike, not towards the spirit itself (for this would be an impossible, unreasonable request), but towards the unwillingness to find and keep its proper place in their daily lives.

By all means, go out for dinner and eat that delicious meal, but beware of being consumed by gluttony. By all means, go out there and make money, but beware of being consumed by greed. By all means, go beyond mere sex to make love, but beware of being consumed by lust.

Be proud, but not Proud; be angry, but be slow to anger, and do so with loving intent; take your rest, and be lazy if necessary, but make not a habit of being a sloth; envy the success of others, but use this feeling, not to deprive, but to become bigger, better versions of yourself.

In other words, do hate the unwillingness to bring a little discipline to the wayward spirit.

Aside: I realize how controversial this sounds to those on opposite ends of that spectrum defined by fearless, shameless indulgence on the one side and fearful, shameful repression on the other, but even the moderates among us appreciate a taste for the wild from time to time.

So, again, how do we make love real? And, in making love real, how do we keep it real?

In the instructive light of Luke 14:26, we see that a certain kind of relationship with the hungry wayward spirit of the beast within is required before we can even begin to answer this question: how do we make love real, and how do we keep love real, when faced with the daunting task of exposing and healing those innermost wounds that compel the hungry beast to bring about desecration and persecution?

A part of us is wise enough to know that we must get on with our lives in the face of this seemingly thankless task (although maybe there is a way to make it less than thankless), but another part of us is wise enough to know that humanity cannot keep on ignoring it. As a species, do we address the challenge head on or do we bypass it in favor of generating a positive wellspring that eventually eliminates it?

Perhaps both, if the pleasant and privileged among us be wise enough.

In my next post, and in view of the ongoing dimensional shift, I will open my heart, with loving kindness, to the challenge of learning to love without condition, with the requisite edge, sharing some of the ways and means by which we can love ourselves and one another, unconditionally and universally.

In essence, I am crafting an approach to being and becoming fulfilled through love, sacred and divine.

This post has been filed under Essence in the Ultimate Outline.

Note: my evolving outline on approaching a realization of the ultimate in personal fulfillment can be found here, accessible from the nav menu under the page “Be Here Now”.

Note: this ever growing perspective began here: Ultimate Perspective

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