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In the first episode of our podcast, we have decided to start a series on the challenging sayings of Jesus. Throughout the remainder of this series we will address different accounts in the Gospels of Jesus saying things we found personally challenging to hear, and to follow. This is an important study because the popular view of Jesus is usually much different than what the Bible actually records. We must go to the Bible to form our image of Jesus, and seek to digest what He has to say, no matter how challenging it may be.
In Matthew 10:34-35 Jesus says the following:
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 (ESV).
While we don’t have to hate our parents in order to go to heaven, Jesus does demand a devotion that trumps all of life’s affections, even family. We as Christians must realize that yes, Jesus is controversial and us following him may very well cause family strife and division. Whatever division our faith may cause, we must continue to place Christ in the proper place in our lives and stand firm. We must realize that disagreeing with someone is not unloving, nor does division necessitate hate or ill will. In fact, division is often a natural occurrence of differing beliefs. As Amos 3:3 puts it, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (NKJV). Family may not agree with our decision to follow Christ, but discipleship is still worth it.