By George Stroh
February 24, 2018
He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. (Matthew 10:37)
When asked to list their most cherished relationships, people most often mention their family members first. Love of family or brotherly love (Philos in the Greek) is certainly important to us all. But Jesus tells Christians that no one, including our family members, are to be loved more than Him; And He said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." (Matthew 22:37)
Since often our family members are unbelievers who don't really love Jesus, it is not surprising that conflicts will surface and family relationships will be strained or even broken. Jesus warned us that love and total devotion to Him would cause conflict, even in ones own family; Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 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; and a man's enemies will be members of his household. (Matthew 10:34-36)
Jesus Himself acknowledged the spiritual battles and conflicts that will come with changed family relationships and priorities because of true saving faith in Him; Someone said to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You." But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, " Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" 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 12:47-50)
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. (1 Peter 4:12-14) Maranatha!