Sometimes our family and friends will think we’re crazy for following Jesus, because they don’t see how important his quest is.
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—
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
In many epic stories, there is a moment where a key character knows the path to follow, but their family or friends think that they’re crazy. Whether it’s Harry Potter or Ghostbusters or The Martian, there’s that moment when those around just won’t listen. Perhaps they are too busy with their daily concerns to see the importance of the hero’s call to arms, or they want to control the situation, or they are scared, or centred on themselves. The hero has to forge his or her own path, against the opprobrium of their loved ones and their community. Sometimes, the family and friends come around to the truth when the gravity of the situation becomes apparent; other times it is too late.
This theme crops up repeatedly in stories, because our stories reflect the realities of our world and of our lives. Here, in
Matthew, Jesus reminds us that this theme crops up in life’s most important situation too – how we respond to him. Jesus has entered our world to deal with a problem of epic proportions. His quest wasn’t just a good story, it was the most important task ever. And so, when we join with the ultimate hero Jesus, we shouldn’t be surprised that some people – perhaps those in our own circle of family and friends – will not be supportive, will think us crazy, will try to talk us out of it. Jesus isn’t saying that he wants to destroy family harmony, but that disharmony must sometimes be a consequence of joining him on a quest of much greater importance – telling and showing the world that he is the answer to evil and death.
But, while those around may, in some sense, become our enemies, we can love them deeply, pray for them and refuse to give in
– just as Jesus does with us.
Head: What has been a time recently when people have questioned the quest (of following Jesus) that you’re on?
Heart: Who can you talk to about the pain of conflicting allegiances? When will you do that?
Hands: What is one simple way that you can show love to someone close who criticises you for following Jesus?
Prayer: Dear God, it hurts when those close to me mock me, or criticise me, for following you. Please give me the strength to stick by you. May my sisters and brothers in Christ support me when it’s hard, and may I support them too. May I keep showing love to those who haven’t trusted you yet, even when it seems easier to turn away. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
A song to listen to: Secret Ambition https://open.spotify.com/track/1ImRhf7tzhNvem5F2M8ewq
This Grow Daily was originally posted as part of the God With Us – Matthew series. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the Grow Dailys over the years.