"Great crowds were following the Lord; doubtless, many were merely caught up in the excitement. Suddenly, Jesus turned and gave them a strong challenge. If anyone was inclined to follow him without adequate conviction, his effort would be worthless. The disciple must “hate” his own father, mother, children, siblings, and even his own life, or he cannot be a disciple. The easily misconstrued term is “hate.” This is an idiom that simply means “to love less” (cf. Gen. 29:30-31; Mt. 10:37). Christ will not take second place; his identity as deity demand first order in one’s life. One must bear his own cross (persecution for the cause of truth) and follow, or he cannot be a disciple."
Wayne Jackson, A New Testament Commentary
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