“From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
Jesus has a couple of important lessons for us in these verses. He continues His explanation that people will be in conflict because of His teaching. I think He is also leading us to a deeper truth about salvation. Let’s unpack this a little.
Jesus warns that families will be divided because of their belief in Him. He lists some of the closest relationships we know, father and son, mother and daughter, and says they will be pitted against each other. Does Jesus want this? Certainly not, but He is painfully aware that some will choose to follow Him and some will not.
This leads to the next unspoken point – each must choose for themselves, no one will be forced to accept Him, and no one else can choose for them. It is up to each of us to hear Christ’s message of forgiveness and hope and choose to be His disciple. He is gently telling us that even though we make that choice, our closest friends and relatives may not. We can’t save anyone, only Jesus can save us; and every individual must make that decision alone. We are called to share the joy of our relationship and nurture others as they decide for themselves.
Gracious God, we want everyone to know Your love, and we want to share that in our world. Help us to support our brothers and sisters on their path to knowing and accepting You. Amen.