“Analysis of Matthew 10:34-39,” by Andrew J. Schatkin
My dear ladies and gentlemen and all fellow readers and discerners and who wish to critically think and reject political code words, media lies and falsehoods, I bid you join me in another intellectual adventure and quest to penetrate the darkness and the curtain that hides from us actuality and reality and join me in opening our eyes to the light and see the events of our society as they become truly known to us. Come with me in this vision quest and lift the blindness that hinders us all.
Today ladies and gentlemen I want to offer an explanation and interpretation of one of the most controversial sayings of the Lord Jesus Christ found in Matthew chapter 10 verses 34-39 as follows: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth: I have not come to bring peace but a sword, for I have come 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 foes will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.”
My dear friends and you who seek to grasp and understand and think, what are we to make of these most radical of the sayings of the lord Jesus? Are we to take and apply these words literally? Does Jesus mean to tell us that he brings violence and division in his gospel, dividing family members from one another? He ends this most demanding and radical of his sayings with the words that one who does not take up his cross and follow him is un worthy and he who finds his life will lose it and he who loses his life or my sake will find it.
What does the Son of God mean here? Jesus means here the proclamation of the gospel and the kingdom will create tension and the use of the term ‘sword’ is an image and metaphor only. Allegiance to Christ and the gospel will create division and separation, even to the extent of dividing family members. To follow Jesus does not admit of compromise. We know that where there is conversion in a Jewish or Muslim household can result in division and discord; I mean no criticism of other religious systems and their members who I know Jesus died for and suffered but only state what Jesus may mean and imply here Jesus tell us the gospel and his message admits of no compromise and his demand to follow him is unequivocal and to do so leaves us no room even to the extent of possible family disagreement and discord. The call of Jesus here is the call to radical discipleship. Jesus’s radical demands here do not mean he is anti-family but by the priority of the gospel message of the coming kingdom of god. Jesus means here that even family loyalty cannot stand in the way of following him. His message admits of no compromise and can be divisive because of its radical character. He asks us to follow him and follow him alone and this message as we all well know brings about discord and disagreement and is even hated by many. He tells us we must love him more than our family, whether parent or child, and we must follow him whatever the cost and he ends with the deepest and most profound of words that when we follow and adhere to self alone, as we all come to know, we will lose our lives in that life of selfishness but if we lose our lives for him we will find ourselves. In him we will grow into his image of love and in a life directed solely to ourselves he tells us quite aptly we will lose out.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I end this analysis, explanation and interpretation of these most demanding and deep words of sayings of the eternal god and savior with the hope that I have said something worthy of the love of the risen Christ and hope I have been worthy of my thoughts on the words of Christ and urge you to go back to the text of the gospel of Matthew and read and read the words and thoughts and the mind of Christ again and again. The words of Christ cannot be more absorbed and my weak and vulnerable comments must be seen as inadequate and lacking products of a limited human understanding. I add his idea that this passage is counter to the current world ideology of tolerance and acceptance of all religions and opinions. Jesus says no and the gospel not only admits of no compromise even to the extent of family division discord and possibly even violence.