He Came to Divide Households

7

By Bill McIntyre

Matthew 10:34,

“ Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For 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’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household

 

This, at first may seem to be a very harsh and unkind statement when we live in a world where strife and dysfunctional families are the norm.  Here we have Jesus saying that he came to divide families.

 

First of all let us say quite categorically that the point of this word is not that God loves division and strife.  The point is that strife and division caused by true allegiance to Jesus are better than no strife and division with no allegiance to Jesus.  The point is that when a person is ransomed and called and given sight, something really radical happens to them.

 

They see everything differently with that new sight, and they have a new master because of that sovereign call, and they are wonderfully free from fear and guilt because of that sufficient ransom.

 

And so they think differently and feel things differently and act differently.

 

This is then bound to have a significant effect on those around them who do not know Jesus as their personal saviour. A lot of things may change in your behaviour and attitude that make some of your friends and family look on you in a way that may result in questions or statements like these:

 

“He’s never been the same since he got religion.”

“She used to be so much fun until she started going to that church”

 

There may be other comments that are much stronger and I am sure that we have had many battles with friends and families since Jesus took us into his family.  This simple fact is that we are now part of God’s family of believers. If our earthly friends and families want to join us in this family of God then praise the Lord.  Jesus did not come with a view to give them peace.  Peace in heaven we may be sure of, but not peace on earth.

 

Christ came to give us peace with God.  Peace in our consciences, peace with our brothers and sisters in Christ…but in the world we shall have trial and tribulation, and this trial and tribulation may come from our friends and families.

Dad 1

Note, if all the world would receive Christ, there would then follow a universal peace. Politicians may talk of World Peace or a Global Peace Initiative but that will never happen until Jesus comes again.  While there are and will be so many that reject him, the children of God, that are called out of the world, must expect to feel the fruits of their enmity and persecution.  But remember this enmity does not just come from strangers and people we barely know but from within our own families – our mothers, our fathers, our children.  The most violent and unresolved disputes are those that have arisen from difference in religion.

 

So Christ tells his disciples what we should suffer, and they are hard sayings;  if we can bear these, we can bear any thing.  And for some in the family, that can be very threatening, and so tension develops.

 

Jesus knew when he made this statement in Matthew 10:34 how the world would react to his coming and for his redemption of lost sinners and for this Jesus came into the world.

 

         Heavenly Father we recognize that in being part of your family then there will be members of our earthly family that do not know you and will be separated from us because of your saving grace to us. Father we pray for these members of our families that you will extend your grace to them and open their eyes to see you as their true saviour and through this saving grace they will also become part of your family.

 

That too is the meaning of Christmas. – to separate and divide us from those who don’t believe

 

 

 

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