34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 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.’
Taken on face value this statement by The Lord Jesus Christ – is strange.
It might be wrongly concluded that He is a divider of families and friends. Out to break up homes and marriages etc.
But of course the sword referred to here, has to be the Word of God.
Hebrews 4/12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The dividing that takes place is the dividing of the spiritual from the natural. Those who want God’s right ways, and who stand on His Word – will find opposition from those who prefer the natural realm only. The realm of their own ways, rather than the Way of The Lord.
It is firstly a challenge to those who have already decided to go God’s spiritual way – when they encounter their own natural ways within themselves to begin with – and struggle with themselves never mind relatives.
The Sword of The Spirit of God pierces our own lives to cause us to turn to and embrace God’s superior ways.
But in the course of doing so – and increasingly so on the earth at this time – we will rub shoulders daily with those who prefer their own ways. Even amongst our families and closest relatives we will find them opposing this Word of God.
Consequently Jesus warns us beforehand that division will result.
Not because He is the author of such division – but as the author of all truth – the conflict arises and the division occurs because others will disagree with His ways, and therefore oppose those who stand for it.
How we need to be united as families. How we need to care for our families. The family unit is paramount in society, and it is being eroded constantly by the powers of darkness.
Nevertheless good versus evil, truth versus lies, and so on – and the call goes out: “who is on The Lord’s side…” (cpr. Joshua 24/15)
It will be that families will be divided by the differences in whom we choose to serve.
In the middle of what Paul is saying in Galatians chapter 5 – we pick out a short statement:
…Then the offence of the cross has ceased….
The cross is an offence to those who don’t want to know what it all means, choosing their own thinking above the Word of God.
Because they take offence at the preaching of the cross – they stand in opposition to it, and consequently to those who believe the message of the cross.
The message of the cross and all that it means, is the only salvation for mankind.