How to hate your parents

This morning, on my walk, I listened to a Timothy Keller sermon from the Gospel in Life Podcast. It was titled, “How to hate your parents”. A bit of a challenging title, right?

This is part of a series on the hard sayings of Jesus.

I’d often wondered about this notion of hating my mother and father and what it means. I assumed it was a comparison type of thing. It was reassuring, hearing Tim confirm that the word used in this passage isn’t the active vitriolic hate, but comparative hate when contrasted with love.

Later in the sermon, Tim explains that taking up our cross and following Jesus means to be crucified with Him every day. Unlike electrocution, being hung by the neck, or a firing squad execution, crucifixion is a slow painful death.

This helped me understand better yesterday’s verse of the day in the bible app I use.

“And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires”.

Galatians 5:24

The past tense used in the verse suggests that the work is done, and it’s true, in terms of the good news of Jesus Christ, the saving work has been done. Yet, in our desire to glorify God (for that is the chief end of humankind), we must mortify sin every day, we must crucify the flesh with its passions, lusts, and desires, every day. The use of the word crucify helps enormously and this confirms yet again how carefully we need to read God’s Word and how important it is to hear God’s Word preached by those gifted by His Spirit to proclaim the Word. 

(What are the chief and highest end of humankind? To glorify God and fully enjoy him forever. Romans 11:36, 1 Corinthians 10:31, Psalm 73:24–28, and John 17:21–23. [Westminster Larger Catechism.])

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By Gary

I'm a Christian. I'm also a medical practitioner, specialist pathologist in microbiology, and Member of the Order of Australia (Bali Bombings investiture, 2003).