It will be tough and your allegiances will be disrupted.

Believing in anything disrupts nothing. But the moment you become serious about what you believe and start to follow the demands of those beliefs then that is when others become affected. The time you give, the finances you spend, your behaviours that change disrupt the status quo for others. Here are some of the most difficult verses to read and understand but a true experience for many today.

“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.’ “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10 v 34-37)

Remember this verse: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5 v 9)? Five chapters later Jesus tells his mission-sent disciples that he didn’t come to bring peace. We are going to read eventually Matthew 26:52 when Jesus says: “Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” Yet here in our verses today Jesus says, “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

Jesus is actually quoting from the prophet Micah, 7:5-6:

“Do not trust a neighbour; put no confidence in a friend. Even with the woman who lies in your embrace guard the words of your lips. For a son dishonours his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies are the members of his own household.”

The Jewish thought was that prior to the Messiah coming there would be family discord. This would come about by an attack from an outside enemy resulting in the very essence of society, the family, breaking down. Jesus alludes to this thought indicating he was that Messiah.

Jesus is not saying we must hate. However, he is saying that his presence means that the very fabric of society (the family) will fall apart when the Messiah comes. Relatives will be divided because some will break free from sinful family customs.

The sword is never physical but always a metaphor and is wielded in that following Jesus will disrupt others who choose not to, even the most secure of places, the family.

There are tremendous and powerful loyalties within family. However, Jesus commands even a higher price of loyalty to him. Some are paying a high price today in following Jesus.

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