Is there tension in your family? Perhaps anger or unresolved issues?
Most of us can say yes to these concerning at least one relative. Some issues are just uncomfortable, while some may be very painful. As believers, we are warned to be prepared for separation from others. This separation goes beyond a small spat. This is the segregation of believer vs non-believer.
For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.Matthew 10:35
In this passage, Jesus is addressing a common thought among the Jews that the Messiah would bring immediate peace. Jesus is very clear, very straight-forward. His presence, His teachings, will create a division among the people. There will be those who choose the narrow path and those who choose the widely traveled.
If you deny the Father, Christ will deny you. The deniers and those who choose worldly relations — including those of mother and father — over Christ, are “not worthy of” Him (Matthew 10:37).
On the surface, it seems so simple. But when you are faced with familial exclusion, when you have loved ones who reject God, when it’s your own bloodline persecuting and even hating you for your love in Christ, it doesn’t feel simple.
Do not be anxious concerning this, beloved. For our Father in heaven is a good father. Even now He is calling together an eternal family for the faithful.
And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”Matthew 13:49-50
At one point while Jesus was preaching, His earthly family came to see Him. When told of their arrival, Jesus proclaimed a stark truth — family are not those of blood, but of the faith. Jesus was not identifying His own mother and brothers as non-believers here. Rather, He displayed to the crowd of listeners who believers are to consider family.
What a praise!
Beloved, has your faith in Christ lost you a sister? A brother? A father? This pain is only for this world. When you repent of your sin and claim Jesus as Savior, you are made new and adopted into a grand, eternal family established to glorify God.
Do not shy from church or fellowship. For many of these people are already part of your eternal family. Gather together joyfully and praise the wisdom and mercy of our great Creator. Encourage one another in prayer and spiritual growth. Actively seek to grow His Kingdom.
Lord, thank you for your mercy and grace. Please help me to remain aware and grateful of current blessings. May I not take for granted your church. May I hold tight to your promises. Your Kingdom come! Amen