That statement from Jesus has always been really frustrating to me. Even the explanations which always involved original languages, and lots of “well…” never did it.
One day I was with a girl who was raised in a very conservative family. She was starting to question much of what she had been raised with. She was finding some freedom, getting the sense that she could unload quite a bit of religious baggage and start running in the fields.
But her parents. Man, they kept warning her and telling her she was bordering on heresy and bringing all of their own fears into their life.
And as the conversation went on, they were holding this poor girl back. They were keeping her in the cage.
And I said, you know there is that verse… which was the first time I’d ever used that verse in a way that didn’t annoy me.
Hate in the Hebrew world implied separation.
Love implied clinging or moving toward.
Hate fear. Always. Sometimes, parents are the greatest fear-mongers on the planet. If they are. When they are. Move away from that part of them and move toward God.