This is a difficult passage. There are those who read the Bible literally who kind of ignore this passage on hating your family. In fact, those that don't take it literally also seem to blow it off.
So what does Jesus really mean by this?
I've heard some commentators state that they believe Luke is writing to a situation in his time rather than in Jesus' time. In other words, by 80-90 ACE, the situation in some of the local synagogues would have been that many families may have split over their belief of the identity of Jesus. Some thought he was the Messiah and some just thought he was a traveling rabbi. Their disagreement may have gone to the family level.
As a clergy person, I would say that my joy comes with following my calling as a disciple of Jesus Christ. However, I also do not feel that this is conflicted with my love of family. For the most part, my family and I share the same Christian values and so while our practice of faith may vary, the core values are not a case for conflict.
|Bearing our cross is not silly - if more Christians|
took it seriously, the church would reach
places we miss.
I believe that bearing our cross has to do with being Christ-like to the world. Loving those that may not love us back is difficult. Jesus certainly understood this on his journey to Jerusalem. It takes a strong faith for us to do this as well.
Whom do you find difficultly loving because of their actions, their identity or both?