“…a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.“
Jesus’ words are harsh! Why would Jesus say something like this? Surely, He doesn’t really mean for us to love Him more than our own children? (Or does He?)
In Matthew 10, we read the following:
Jesus’ teaching on family, found in Matthew 10 are difficult to “34 Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 40 Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.”
Two Stories Of Meeting Jesus
Before I was a Teaching Pastor, I spent a few years as a Youth Pastor. Like many Youth Ministries, we took our students on Youth Conference trips. To every Youth Pastor’s joy, Jesus often chooses to meet students for the first time, on these trips.
Let’s say this takes place within the lives of 2 students on a conference trip. The stories will be similar until those students return home.
One student may return to a Believing home, where Fellowship is found under common faith and ideals. This student’s parents embrace them with hugs and hand-fives, ecstatic about their decision to follow Jesus.
However, the second student may return to an unbelieving home, where discord is found under conflicting faith and ideals. This student’s parents speak and act in antagonism towards their teen who has chosen to follow Jesus.
Evidence of the Holy Spirit
Much of this comes down to evidence of the Holy Spirit, found within the life of the Believer. In the Believing home, unity of the Spirit is found in most circumstances.
In the unbelieving home, conflicting spirits become apparent almost immediately. The Holy Spirit pulling the student in a different direction than the enemy is pulling our world (and the student’s parents).
In many cases, legitimate spiritual warfare is found in these homes.
The Second Layer
But there’s also a second layer. This second layer has a lot to do with Monday’s post on the difference between being a Christian and a Disciple.
Let’s consider these 2 students again.
The first student returns to a Christian home, where there are common faith and ideals, but they are positioned, not always practiced. As this first student grows and strives to follow the person and power of Jesus, the parents feel judged and discord ensues.
The second student returns to a Discipled home, where there are common faith and ideals, but they are more of a practice than a simple position. As this student grows and strives to follow Jesus, the parents unite with the student and fellowship is found.
The Work of the Holy Spirit
Again, much of this has to do with the Holy Spirit. In the Christian home, the parents may hear the Holy Spirit, but act when willingness, ability or conveniency permit. Again, increasing discord with a student who is now in tune with the Spirit’s leading.
The Discipled home is one where the parents are also in tune with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the daily family pursuit is one of striving towards becoming more like Jesus Christ. It is a family of true Disciples.
Back To Jesus’ Harsh Words
We started by looking at Jesus’ harsh statement, regarding the division that can happen in families, when a family member chooses to go all-in as a Disciple.
As a parent, I need to prepare myself for at least one of my 3 sons, going all-in for Jesus. Am I leading a Christian home with common faith and ideals? Or am I leading a Discipled home where as a family, we embrace a daily pursuit to become more like Jesus?
Join the Conversation, Leave Your Thoughts
Have you or anyone you know grown up in a home where Jesus was not central to family life? What was that like?