“I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; your enemies will be right in your own household!” (Matthew 10:35-36 NLT)
What a verse?
Was Jesus suggesting that it was okay to disobey our parents or to create conflict in our homes?
Was Jesus really encouraging children to be against their own parents?
Did He really encourage daughters to be against their mothers, and daughter-in-laws against their mother-in-laws?
Definitely not; what He meant was that, with His presence in this world and considering the type of message He was about to deliver, whoever decided to follow him, had to be prepared. It demanded decision.
He knew from the beginning that there would be some who would believe in His word and others who would not; and because of that, conflict was imminent to arise and therefore, division among friends and even between family members was inevitable.
Dear Friends, following Jesus and doing as He commands, not only requires change of our mind set, it requires sacrifice, self-denial and complete commitment. It means to be willing to even face death for his sake if necessary.
It is for the same reason then, that our Lord Jesus tells His Disciples in Matthew 16:24 (NLT) saying: “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me”.
He knew from the start that there would be some who would oppose his teachings.
He knew from the beginning that He would be persecuted and even killed, and so if anyone was willing to follow Him, he/she had to be prepared to face all the difficulties that they would encounter.
And so friends, Jesus message to us was never a key or license, giving us permission so we can plot evil against each other; it was a warning.
He was preparing us to be strong in Him, to be courageous, consistent and persistent, and most of all, to understand that if He who was God incarnate, would face the difficulties He went through, we too, as his followers, would face the same problems.
But was it worth it?
Of course, our eternal salvation was up to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. "...for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
So it is up to us now to believe in his word and do as God has commanded us.
We must spread the word to the world so that those who don’t believe, may come to believe and be saved.
You see, Jesus’ message was never to promote division among people. It is us who because of our sinful nature, already controlled by the devil, tend to twist things around to the point of causing others to go astray.
We all know that God is never the author of evil and how can He contradict himself when in many Bible verses He promotes love among men.
Yes brother and sisters.
How can our loving God promote division among us when He himself encourages us in the book of Proverbs 3:3-4 to never let love and faithfulness leave us, and that we must bind them around our neck?
How can we think of such things of our God when He Himself asks us to write love and faithfulness on the tablet of our heart so that we may win favor and a good name in His sight and of man?
How can we think of Jesus as the one who came to cause division among families, when He, because of His love to mankind, willingly died on the cross for us all?
We must love one another just as he has loved us; because in doing so, we are proving to the world that we are his disciples. John 13:34-35
Father of Love and Mercy - All knowing God,
Today, we thank you Lord for blessing us with a discerning heart.
Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to guide and teach us so we are able to distinguish between right and wrong and good from evil, in Jesus Name, Amen.