Do You Love to Hate?

In the space where fear once lived, love enters to replace it. The kingdom of God contains only love. Anything that falls short of this ideal hasnít been fully transformed. In Jesusís eyes, the everyday world feebly reflects divine love. This holds the key to one of his most disturbing teachings:

If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.

Jesus seems to be ordering his disciples to abandon every cherished relationship, yet this makes no sense from a teacher who also commands them to love their enemies.

Jesus speaks in absolutes to catch his listenerís attention, and here he is making the sharpest possible distinction between ordinary love and divine love. ďMeĒ stands for God, and ďcoming to MeĒ means entering the Kingdom of God, which is to say, Godís reality. That reality isnít physical; it isnít found in worldly relationships, even the most loving ones. If you want to know divine love, you must find it on its own terms, not the terms you are used to.

Even when phrased more softly, this is a radical teaching. A person doesnít start with everyday love and then direct that feeling toward God. A complete reversal of perception is necessary Ė to dramatize this reversal, Jesus turns the word love into hate.

The mystical Jesus regards the entire world as an illusion, which would make the love we experience here also an illusion. Now the word hate becomes understandable: Jesus is warning us off the kind of unreal love that lulls us, blinding us to Godís love.

Adapted from The Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2008).


Glenn Byrnes
Glenn B5 years ago

Interesting point.

Jane Barton
Jane Barton5 years ago

I don't but Jesus Freaks do.

Lara Kinast
Lara Kinast5 years ago

I don't think I really hate or love anything. I know in my gut that the world is an illusion, but how can you love or, conversely, hate an illusion?

Tori W.
Past Member 7 years ago

I don't know that I really hate anyone any longer. There are some I don't care for a great deal, but I don't hate them. The kind of love that religion and Jesus taught is selfless, God given love. When that is our focus, the feelings are joyous. Hate is destructive, takes a lot of energy to maintain and doesn't uplift us as love does. Besides, I try to understand the teachings in the Bible remembering that the books in the Bible were chosen by religious men about 2000 years ago, in a much different time, and these men were appointed by a pagan Roman emperor. The mysteries of the Bible? Yes, and a few books could have been left out too. Some things I won't understand in this life and that's ok too.

Debbie W.
Past Member 7 years ago

That's also why we're always at war with something or someone ... no peace. Looking for it from the outside is not what's needed ... it's something that must first be gained on the inside and, once gained, can work itself outward to accomplish good things.

KATE L7 years ago

Wow, awesome thankyou :)

Saryn G.
Saryn G7 years ago

=/... Didn't think this would be a religious post.

Dianne D.
Dianne D7 years ago

Good points Bob C. I didn't know what to think of this article, but you made sense. You get a green star for that.

Diana C.
Diana C7 years ago


Camilla Vaga
Camilla Vaga7 years ago

hmm interesting I think I love to hate my work, and my life at times