Monday, May 07, 2007

A Sword, Not Peace

The Bible has some hard teachings. At my church yesterday, a man read this passage, looked up, and said, “Does that mean we’re not supposed to love our wives and children?”

Matthew 10:34-37

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 his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Various ones of us in the class tried to explain it, but I’m not sure he ever accepted our ideas. Our main consensus was that it’s as if we were the children in a family—the love we would have together for our parents. That kind of love is different from the love among brothers and sisters; it goes beyond, somehow, involving love in a different sense—of safety and sacrifice and nurture, maybe.

Here’s what Oswald Chambers says about it in today’s My Utmost for His Highest devotional entry:

The conditions of discipleship given to us by our Lord in verses 26, 27, and 33 mean that the men and women He is going to use in His mighty building enterprises are those in whom He has done everything. "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26 ). This verse teaches us that the only men and women our Lord will use in His building enterprises are those who love Him personally, passionately, and with great devotion— those who have a love for Him that goes far beyond any of the closest relationships on earth. The conditions are strict, but they are glorious.

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