But see what Jesus’ hatred looks like…
‘Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.’ John 19:25-27
C.S.Lewis, in his book, ‘Reflections on the Psalms’, sees evidence of this sort of hatred in Psalm 45 (called ‘a love song’ in its title) when the psalmist says to the daughter called to be bride to the king, ‘…forget your people and your father’s house, and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him.’ (Psalm 45:10, 11)
Lewis insists that we should see the ‘plain…painful sense’ intended; the costly, probably fearful experience of a young girl separated from her family, even if that separation is to a marriage that will bring future blessings, ‘In place of your fathers shall be your sons; you will make them princes in the earth. I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.’ Psalm 45:16, 17
Lewis continues, ‘…all this has also its poignant relevance when the Bride is the Church. This ‘turn your back’ is of course terribly repeated, one may say aggravated, by Our Lord – ‘he that hateth not father and mother and his own life.’ (Jesus) speaks, as so often, in the proverbial, paradoxical manner; hatred (in cold prose) is not enjoined; only the resolute, the apparently ruthless, rejection of natural claims when, and if, the terrible choice comes to that point.’
But, may an aspiring disciple be too eager to make this ‘terrible choice’?
C.S.Lewis concludes with a warning…
“Even so, this text (Luke 14:26) is, I take it, profitable only to those who read it with horror. The man who finds it easy enough to hate his father, the woman whose life is a long struggle not to hate her mother, had probably best keep clear of it.”