Luke 12:51-53 – Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two, and two against three. They will be divided, father against son, and son against father; mother against daughter, and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law. (NASB)
Because I am a non-confrontational person, being forthright, outspoken, or direct when speaking truth becomes an arduous task requiring discernment. I perceive others to have tendencies to sugar-coat truth in fear of animosity or repercussion. I struggle in situations that directly engage my relatives or personal friends, and often pine for the outspokenness of the gospel writers.
But ironically, Jesus, who is the Prince of Peace, warned us that families will be divided on account of Him. To a degree, I have seen it happen in my own family and close circle of friends. Some have even displayed animosity amongst themselves bordering on hatred. I have heard testimonies from others, mostly Jewish believers, who have been disowned because of their faith in the Messiah. Therefore, in searching Scripture relating to this quandary, I also sought its resolution.
On a broader scale, the nation of Israel misunderstood the purpose of Messiah's first coming: they believed that He would usher in a reign of peace on earth, primarily from war and Roman occupation, and His earthly kingdom would be established. Without the shedding of Christ's blood as atonement for the sins of mankind and apart from a personal relationship with Him, His promise of peace is not achieved.
Nevertheless, today's passage focuses on the most fundamental unit: the family. Mark 3:25 states, "If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand" (NASB). Satan is in the business of dividing and destroying the very foundation of society. He knows that the gospel message ignites no small stir, and he does everything in his power to keep the lost unsaved. In 1 Corinthians 1:18, Paul confirms, "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God" (KJV). Hence, families become divided.
What can we do? Leading a Christian life by example and walking with the Lord may inadvertently affect our friends or relatives, and lead them to do likewise. In John 15:12, Jesus said, "Love one another, as I have loved you" (KJV). Secondly, through specific prayer, the Lord may facilitate reunification if it is His will. In addition, we can pray for them to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If they search and their heart is right, God will bring it to fruition.
Prayer: Father God, we give You praise, honour, and glory. You said in Your Word that You are not a God of confusion, but of peace. We pray for reconciliation in divided families. We pray that those who have rejected Christ will go to the foot of the cross in humility and embrace Your Son Jesus, so that Your peace will be made available to them. We pray this in our Saviour's name. Amen.
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