Jesus, Psychology, and Angst

jesus-statue.jpg

This is a very interesting Biblical quote I came across:

“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple”
Luke 14:26

Now, people may interpret “hate” here as “like less,” as in, if anyone does not like their father and mother, wife and children, and their own life less than Jesus, they cannot be Jesus’ disciple…

However, I think the point may also be of humbleness and self-doubt and even self-hate and dissatisfaction with one’s surroundings to a degree which makes this quote interesting, and reveals a sort of acknowledgment of existentialism and self-doubt, which seems like a very modern acknowledgment, as well as a general, well, angst. Like Mother Teresa’s occasional doubts about her faith and apparent bouts of depression but also encompassing some of the feelings that we maybe see in ultra-misanthropes today like those Columbine killers.

This paints a fuller picture of the Bible and Jesus to me: religious doctrine that can acknowledge that people have self-doubts and can be dissatisfied in general, even with their family and society in general seems a bit more multi-dimensional than a portrayal of doctrine where humans are faulty, but their dissatisfaction with life is not acknowledged much nor recognized. This strikes me as reading a lot like existentialism and modern philosophy in the 20th century that developed about their being no God; but reading the quote above, it seems like such sentiments were actually expected and remarked upon by Jesus way back when, long before such other philosophical strains evolved in the 20th century.

Photo by midiman

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