Revelations from the Word

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He who loves his father and mother more than Me

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to 'set a man against [dichazo] his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.' He who loves [phileo] father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves [phileo] son or daughter more than Me is not worthy [axios] of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy [axios] of Me" (Matthew 10:34-38).

The Greek verb dichazo means 'to separate in two', 'to put two things in opposition', and is the root of the English word 'dichotomy'. The multiplication of the cells in our body is the result of successive separations. In the same way a family multiplies harmoniously when newly weds separate from their parents. According to this same principle, the growth of the Kingdom of God comes about by separating from the world. When we turn towards Jesus, the people in our families can become our worst enemies, showing themselves hostile towards us in as much as they have not themselves turned to Jesus. That is why Jesus came to bring the Word of God so that it would act as a double-edged sword, to separate soul and spirit, the reflections of reason and the thoughts of the heart (Hebrews 4:12 Interlinear).

The Greek word axios means also 'to have the same value', 'great value'; it is translated by "to be compared" (Romans 8:18). In order to follow Jesus we have to adopt His values and those of the Kingdom of God. We therefore have to detach ourselves from the influence of our family, that of the philia love, and from the world (Matthew 19:29), in order to enter into the new family of God, that of the agapé love. And if we have been abandoned by our earthly family, God will provide through this new Family (Psalm 68:7). This is made up of all those who obey the same Heavenly Father and who become our brothers and sisters (Matthew 12:48-50).

As God asks the man and the woman to separate themselves from their parents to form a new family (Matthew 19:5), Jesus asks us to separate ourselves from our family according to the flesh, our natural family, in order to be a part of His Bride, our family according to the Spirit. If we walk by the Spirit we will no longer be under the influence of the flesh (Galatians 5:18), for the flesh always seeks to put us back under the law. When we are under the law we cannot do the will of our Heavenly Father, who is raising up a Bride for His Son, by separating us from the influence of our earthly family. However, we must continue to take care of our earthly families. Jesus Himself had to separate Himself from the influence of His mother at the beginning of His ministry (John 2:1-11), but at the time of His departure He took particular care of her (John 19:27).