Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.
Here is a great paradox. The Teacher of peace and love has come and there will be division and violence!
Jesus has no hostile intentions. The Son of God comes to lead mankind into fellowship with the Father! Bring us into the harmony of the Heavenly Family!
He will even voluntarily surrender His own life to create this new reality!
But here He announces the hostility this will create in a number of families. For some will feel extreme - even violent - antagonism toward their own close relatives who decide to become students of Jesus!
He warns His apostles too - all men will hate you because of me!
Amazing isn’t it? Most of these men will die a martyr’s death for one simple reason. When people don’t like the message, they will kill the messenger!
It’s time to ask why. Why such vitriol against the good news of Jesus?
It’s simple really. The hostile intentions come from the enemies of God. All the usual suspects: Hate-creating prejudice! Misplaced zeal of false religion! Change that threatens existing power structures! The devil!
No, the church of Christ will not gain a foothold in this world without suffering. And the Teacher honestly warns about this in advance.
He also gives a promise to all who persevere in persecution - But he who stands firm to the end will be saved.