Provocative Bible Verses: Jesus Came to Divide People

Think not that I came to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law” Matthew 10:34-35

There is a clear impression of Jesus as being very mild mannered, kind, caring, and a person who reconciles people to one another and to God. There is a certain sense in which that is true. He certainly came to reconcile us to God and one another. Yet in another sense the mission of Jesus is one of division. He says that he came to set men at variance with one another. In some way, because of Jesus, even close family members will be at odds with one another.

When I gave my life to Christ things began to change very quickly in my life. It had a huge impact on my family relationships. The heart of the conflict was that by following Jesus I had adopted a new Lord and Master. My view of the world began to change. My values changed. My priorities changed. My ambitions changed. There was a growing gap that developed between me and my dad in particular. His hopes for my life, to be in business and make lots of money where no longer my hopes. When I had been a Christian for less than two years I sensed God calling me to a life of serving Him. My dad told me that when i came home from college and told him that, I cold not have hurt him more if I had kicked him in the groin. Clearly Jesus had put me at variance with my dad.

If we are going to follow Jesus and have Him truly be our Lord then there will be times when people who do not follow Him will not understand us. There will be times when they will angry with us, hurt by us, argue with us. We must realize that when we follow Jesus we become citizens of His Kingdom. We become exiles in our own communities. We just don’t exactly fit anymore. That misfit will divide us from others. But it need not make us people who lash out against those who are different from us. Paul tells us in Romans 12:18 “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men”. By it’s very nature our following of Jesus puts us at odds. But in spite of that reality, we are to do all that we possibly can to bridge the gap and be reconciled in Christ.

In the case of my dad it took years of my wife and I faithfully living out our relationship with Christ before anything changed. It meant that at times we put ourselves at odds with him. There were times when he just did not understand why we lived as we did. In fact he was certain that we were being irresponsible by not trying to get as rich as possible. But over time he began to see something. He saw that our children were happy even though they did not have all the stuff he thought they should. He saw that our family was content even though our cars were old and out house was the post child of the handyman special. He saw that Barbara and I deeply loved one another in a way that he felt he was missing in his relationships.

Eventually he contracted acute leukemia and within 9 months he died, but not before he came to the realization that he needed the Jesus that I knew. As my father was near death he reached out his hand to me in a sign that he wanted to pray. I took his hand fully expecting to pray in some way for my dad to finally give his life to Christ. Before I ever had a chance to say anything, my dad said these words, “Jesus I am trusting in You. I put my life in your hands and I want to go to be with you”. In that moment the sword between me and my dad was removed. He was reconciled to me but more importantly he was reconciled to Jesus. It was the last time we spoke. A few moments later he said he wanted to sleep. He went to be with the Lord a few hours later.

Yes, by the very nature of who Jesus is, people will be at odds with one another. But also by the very nature of His death on the Cross, his Resurrection, and Ascension, Jesus reconciles people to one another and to Himself. That reconciliation brings us closer to one another than we ever could be without Him. Out role in that is to live out the Gospel with as much passion and devotion as possible.

31 thoughts on “Provocative Bible Verses: Jesus Came to Divide People

  1. Maribel

    Dan, thank you so much for that. I am struggling with this today with my mom. I can’t imagine doing life without her or at odds with her, but I know that there is a struggle between what God has called me to be in the lives of Single and Teen moms and her… Thank you so much for your transparency and encouragement. I know that while our circumstance may not change I must seek to make things better with her even if I will be here again next week… Thanks! All for Him!

  2. Richard Carpenter

    Jesus (Esho in HIS own language, Aramaic) is GOD in human form. HE always was, HE is and HE always will be. HE is a part of GOD (Father/Son/Holy Spirit)and will come again to judge mankind. The Bible is true and that is why it has been (and is ) so hated by this world.

  3. Buli

    Jesus is one with God, the trinity of God (the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit). No one will will go to Father without knowing Him first. He is the way, the truth and the life. He died for us, so that we may be reconciled to the Father in Heaven.

  4. John

    Never ever did I read such a hokey feel good story. If I was going to make up a story, that would certainly be the one. I guess this article was intended for the weak minded. No thanks. BTW Carpenter, You must not read much either. I suggest light reading, but I’m not sure you’re up to much more then that level of thinking.

  5. Dan Lacich

    It is fascinating that you don’t believe the story. On what evidence do you base that conclusion?

    You referenced the web site and the page on Jesus being God. Great page. On another post you would find that I am in complete agreement with that statement. You called light reading. Is that meant as a slam or as an entry point for Carpenter to possibly engage? If you are trying to get him to consider that Jesus is in fact God, why would you ridicule Carpenter in the process?

  6. Dan- You Rock!
    (I stumbled upon your site earlier today after doing a search on bible verses Jesus divide people after having a conversation with my stepmother about religion and politics. I realy enjoyed the story about You and Your Father being divided by the sword until the time of his death…….. I got a bonus just now when I returned to send the link to my brother and spotted the link to 43 Troy at the bottom!) Thanks & Peace

  7. Dan Lacich

    Totally out of context? I would love to know how. You can’t just make a statement like that and not explain what you think the context is and what Jesus meant.

  8. Look at it from a Radicalist point of view. There are those who will stop at nothing to serve “God”. Including depart from their own family members. But remember, if you are against them, how can you expect for them to be “saved”? Or is it better to let them burn while you try and fulfill God’s purpose in YOUR life so YOU can make it to heaven and save all those people you don’t even know?

  9. Dan Lacich

    Dear Mind Diaries,
    Any division should come not because we force the division but because there will be those who reject us and the Gospel no matter what we do. Anyone who is truly following Jesus should never be content with their own life and have no concern for others. We are to love our neighbor and that is defined as whoever is near us at the time. Family certainly fits that definition.

  10. Theodora

    My son has accepted Jesus in his life. He is/was an aspiring musician with a very bright future ahead of him, he is 18 years of age. Since this new discovery of christianity (being born again) he doesn’t want to do anything at all. He doesn’t want to study, his career is on hold. When we (his parents tell him about the importance of education and carving a living for himself he tells his new found christian friends we are against his faith. And now he moved out of our house to live with a girlfriend (they are not married). He doesn’t even have a high school diploma, how does he expect to live in our current world? Does God allow him to live with a woman while they are not married? Now him and his new friends are using this text (sword, division) to justify his actions. I understand and appreciate the fact that he found Christ, but to put his life on hold? No, No!!

  11. Dan Lacich

    Dear Theodora,
    Thank you for sharing your story and being honest about the struggles you face with your son. I would have to say that he is not doing the kind of thing that would honor the Lord. He needs to know that God has given him his abilities and gifts in order to worship and glorify God. If he wants to truly follow Christ then he needs to develop what God has given him for the glory of God. Living with a woman he is not married to is not a God honoring thing. I am praying for you and him to reconcile and for him to come to a more clear understanding of Jesus.
    I am curious, is there a particular church or group that he is now connected with?

  12. Peaceluvr

    I really need prayer for my family. Financial problems seem to overwhelm us and trying to help family members who keep living on the fence is such a hard thing to deal with. I know none of us are perfect, we all fall short, but I love my family dearly and some of them keep repeating the same things over and over. Please Pray! God Bless You!!!

  13. Dan Lacich

    Praying for you and for your family to be able to break the cycle of repeating the same things. Also praying for you to have the wisdom to know the right thing to do.

  14. Trudy

    An amazing story that I believe and can relate to as I endeavour to become a disciple of Christ. One is either in our out, either a believer or a skeptic. Know that once you chose to believe and follow Him, many others will not understand and cast doubt on your beliefs in Him. It is foretold and believers can take comfort in this truth. Stay on the path and don’t lose faith. Jesus is Love.

  15. Debloggers_son

    thnx dan!… Jesus is Lord… This life we have chosen to live is not easy… It is not about eating and drinking… Jesus knew what he was saying.. Truly, He came nt to send peace in this world.. His Grace should carry us through this perverse world.. Glory to His Name….

  16. jeremy

    Ben, Jesus is God, but not everyone who believes in Him is saved. James 2:19 says something like this, “Even you believe their is a God, good, so do the demons and the shutter.” Just believing in God does not save you. It is have a personal relationship with Him.

  17. Jeremy (not the same as the one who posted last)

    Thank you so much for this. I have getting into the occult, with periods of varying motivation levels of learning, for probably about 4 years. I’m just going to say 4 years because it’s really hard to tell when the actual study of the occult began. I guess I started intentionally looking into Hermeticism, especially, in the past month. In the past few months, my motivation to find God through the occult escalated quickly. We’re talking through the roof here! As I followed this path deeper, strange occurrences would happen. For example, a friend of mine became possessed once and asked me to join allegiance with him. The demon said he knew something I didn’t know and was tempting me with the knowledge and powers he had. He even offered me material possessions, and he told me I could use the powers for good and not evil. I didn’t know what to make of this until two days ago, when I was reading a particular Hermetic writing, finding that the god they worship is actually Lucifer! They verbalize this outright. I have also been studying the illuminati and the new age movement. They are all connected to the same thing. The new age philosophy is Hermeticism/Luciferian worship disguised as ancient knowledge, which it is.

    Anyway, I started to seek the Christian God in particular after the past two days, but this time I was pretty sure that Christ was God. I had seen through the deception, so I started talking to my mother and friends about it who I had previously talked to about occultism. I started to repent before I went to sleep, but I felt unfulfilled. Tonight, I had a terrible nightmare that was even more intense than when my friend was possessed. Two very famous musicians who I look up to approached me in the dream, offering me a genius in talent and wads of money. I immediately felt that same demonic presence as I did the night my friend became possessed, so I cried out to Jesus and awoke in my bed. Upon waking, scared, I remembered a time when I said, “I am Legion. I am many.” I understood possession in a different way. Just because one is possessed does not mean they are always in crazy-evil mode. Whatever demon this was had been inside of me simply influencing my thoughts, sometimes more clearly than others, such as when I said I was Legion.

    I flipped open my bible to the New Testament, still scared, now aware that I was probably possessed. In my frightened state, I didn’t want to read John for some reason, and when I flipped backwards to Mark, it reminded me of the “mark of the beast,” so I was too afraid to read that too. I found middle ground in Luke. It just felt right, like I should read Luke for some reason. I started reading from the page that starts at Luke 8:21, which later contains the passage where Jesus restores a demon possessed man.

    “28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.

    29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)

    30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.”

    The same demon… A few passages later, Jesus declares that we have the ability to cast out demons. I started to cast out any and all demons, especially Legion, in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. I asked the Holy Spirit to fill the places where the demons had left my body. A weight started to be lifted from my body as I repeated this prayer. I then started to repent of things I could remember and asking for Christ to bring to the surface things I needed to repent for or had forgotten. I continued until I felt mostly fulfilled, like the demonic energy was out of me. I continued to read the bible after this and was a little put off by the bible verse you posted above, so I googled it and found this site. I read this testimony and started to cry tears of joy when I read your testimony, something I have never done before in my life. I am actually crying a little bit right now, just remembering that moment. Thank you so much for this website. I love you and God!

  18. michelle

    Jeremy, you are so right about the illuminati, the new age movement and I believe the free masons and Mormonism (Joseph Smith it’s founder definitely was), are all a part of the occult. I am so glad you had broken free of this lifestyle. Keep close to Jesus, I will pray you stay on the path God has led you. I am so glad you looked to God and the Bible in your time of need. Nothing satan can offer is worth eternal security in Christ.

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  20. Pingback: Provocative Bible Verses: Jesus Came to Divide People | look at the stars

  21. How can we deny the stark reality of the family division caused by truly following Christ? Many of us have experienced hurt and loss of siblings, children or parents on account of our commitment to Christ. It is a sad reality of life.

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