Read Matthew 10:37
37 “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. (NLT)
Christian speakers are often urged to grab people’s attention. Make some dramatic statement; declare an uncomfortable truth. Jesus is pretty good at that sort of thing. Here he says that we are not to love our immediate families more than we love him. In other words, he is to be loved above what was regarded as the most cherished obligations then known.
Assuming Jesus is not expressing monstrous egotism, what is he saying? He probably means that loving him is the key to all other loves. It is absurd to imagine he is telling us not to love our parents or children: if we are to love our enemies we must surely love our families.
Jesus is saying that we are to give our ultimate allegiance to him. In doing so, all other proper loves fall into place. By loving him, we are set free to truly love others. By putting love of family over and above love of him, we jeopardise such family love. Such love can become controlling, distorted by ego needs, if it is not under the umbrella of love for God.
Jesus is not setting himself up as a rival to our families, demanding we push them aside. He is rather saying that our love for our families is to be one expression of our love for him. Love them in a way that is empowered and informed by the love we have for him and that he has for us. Love for him guards and guides all our other loves.