Follow Jesus Or Follow Our Family!


‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ Matthew 10:34-36

A sword should be identified with Christ in any sense as a warning of the severity which is one characteristic of His glorious nature, Romans 11:22.

One who obeys Christ despite family or parental opposition feels the edge of that sword. A young woman who maintains her ideals and purity in an office where low standards prevail soon feels that sword in her heart. All who live for Christ and bleed inwardly when His name is profaned or His word denied have felt it.

A similar thought is contained in the voice from heaven that commanded John to eat the little book, Revelation 10:9.

The sword of Christ is a sword of separation, the word of God, Ephesians 6:17 / Hebrews 4:12.

The sword of Christ is the sword of civil authority, Romans 13:1-8.

The sword of Christ is the sword of judgment, Genesis 3:24.

The sword of Christ is the sword of correction, and the sword of victory, Revelation 2:16 / Revelation 19:13.

Even Mary, the mother of Jesus, was acquainted with that sword, ‘And a sword will pierce your own soul too.’ Luke 2:55.

Matthew 10:35 shows us that lines of cleavage between Christ’s followers and the world cut sharply through the dearest and most intimate relationships on earth. In every church, almost in every household, there are scars caused by this sword.

Matthew 10:36 shows us that Jesus is talking about the indirect result of His work and that of His followers. Anyone who promotes good and denounces bad will gain enemies and have problems. Sometimes this happens even within families.

Gospel produces inner peace, and peace with God, but the believer will experience resentment from the enemies of the Gospel even though the Gospel is good because they prefer evil.

So, the indirect result of the Lord’s good work is trouble from enemies of the Gospel even when they are members of one’s own family, the alternative is to not accept the truth. In such situations, the choice will be, to follow Jesus or give in to the family.

Now the Lord Jesus said in Matthew 10:320-33 ‘Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.’

These statements are made when He was advising the twelve before sending them to preach throughout the land of Israel where they would experience some hostility, but He predicts much greater hostility which came after the ascension, Matthew 10:5-42.

Such hostility has been experienced by His followers right down to the present time. To those who compromise He says, ‘Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.’ Luke 6:26

On the other hand, resentment, mustn’t be met with resentment. The Lord goes on to say in Luke 6:27-28 ‘But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.’

God’s children must ‘not be overcome by evil’ but must ‘overcome evil with good.’ Romans 12:21