“So every one of you who doesn’t renounce all that he has cannot be my talmid.”
This shocking verse should be a problem for more people. This sounds terrible. This is going far beyond “let the dead bury their dead” or “sell everything you have” and come follow me. This is the summation of 14:26 wherein Messiah says that people should hate their loved ones and their own lives in order to be his disciples. How can this be? I think more context is needed. What Romans 9 refers to a passage in Malachi 1:1-3 where it is stated that the Father “loved Jacob, but hated Esau.” Esau is a complicated figure. He is described as less-than-righteous, but he is blessed, like Ishmael before him. His descendants known as Edom fail to let Israel pass through their land on their way from Egypt to the Promised Land and then later it is recorded that they celebrated Israel’s captivity. It is stated that they will be punished for that.
There is also the matter of the “hated wife” of D’varim/Dueteronomy 21:15-17
She is called “hated” in the King James Version and the Jewish Publication Society Tanakh. While she is called “unloved” in the Complete Jewish Bible, and the Israel Bible. Chabad uses a translation on their website from Judaica Press which calls one wife “beloved” and the other “despised.”
Matthew 5:43-44 talks about hate too. Here Messiah says to love your enemies and not hate them and to pray for those who persecute you. Is it the Father’s will that believers love their enemies and hate their family, friends and neighbors? Heaven forbid!
Is Messiah contradicting himself here? I say no. I say the solution to this issue is to not read the bible in a hyper-literal fashion. If you do, then all is lost if you believe in Messiah because he contradicts himself here and that would mean he is a liar and is therefore not qualified to be Messiah. Instead we have to look back to the Torah and understand the text from a more nuanced perspective. Genesis 29:30 states that Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. The Father blessed Ishmael and Esav with children and nations coming from them. He blessed them and was with them even though He chose Isaac and Jacob to be in intimate relationship with. He chose them over their brothers. Just like Jacob chose Rachel over Leah. He and Leah had seven children, while he and Rachel were only able to have two. The sisters fought for Jacob’s love, they fought to be more dear to him. Jacob loved them both, but he chose Rachel. We need to love the Father more than our own lives. We need to put him before ourselves and everything else in our lives. We need to choose holiness and Truth at the cost of everything else. That is what Messiah wants, that is what he means when he says to hate everything and give up everything to be his disciple. That’s no more than he asked of himself, he gave up everything out of love for the Father.