Jesus Divides | Matthew 10:34-11.1 (Mville)
Topic: New Testament Passage: Matthew 10:34–11:1
Good Morning! We are continuing to preach through the book of Matthew, the gospel account
of Jesus as the Savoir-King of God’s people. We are in Part 2 (Chapters 8-13) the Mission of the
King. Jesus is the great savior and king of God’s people. Jesus is God in the flesh. Jesus sees
there are many hurting and lost people who need the message and healing of the kingdom.
Jesus commissions and Jesus sends. Before he sends his troops into battle he gives marching
orders like a general in the form of a sermon. He has given methods for a mission motivated by
compassion. He has given them clear warnings about persecution and trials they will face, and
encourages them not fear men while maintaining a healthy fear and respect of the power and
holiness of God. As this Sermon of the Mission concludes, we see Jesus wants his disciples to
fully understand the purpose of His mission is controversial. Jesus came to divide. Jesus divides
for conflict, he divides families, he divides lives, and he divides rewards. We will look at the
purposes of each of these divisions and ultimately how Jesus brings together through His work
on the cross.
Matthew 10:34-11:1 34
come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to set a man against his father, and a
daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36And a person's
enemies will be those of his own household. 37Whoever loves father or mother more than
me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of
me. 38And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds
his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent
me. 41The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward,
and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive
a righteous person's reward. 42And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold
water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” 11 When
Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in
V 10:34 Jesus Divides for Conflict to Bring Peace
Jesus heals, Jesus restores, Jesus save, all we have seen about ministry and mission to this
point seems to give us the understanding Jesus is here to bring peace. Jesus is the fulfillment
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not
of Isaiah 9:6 as the Prince of Peace. Jesus tells his followers different purposes for why he
came at different times, he says he is here to seek and save the lost (Lk 19:10), Jesus is here to
give abundant life (Jn 10:10), Jesus says he is here to give witness to the truth about Truth (Jn
18:37). Which one is it? Jesus mission is multifaceted. One simple mission statement cannot
contain the complexity of all Jesus is here to accomplish; so he emphases different aspects at
different times. Here Jesus says “I came” and proceeds to tell us what he is NOT here to do.
He is not her to bring peace, but the sword. Luke 12:51 says “division”. Jesus mission will bring
The Jews understood the Messiah was going to lead God’s people triumphantly into battle
against the armies of oppression and secure victory that would lead to a time of ultimate peace.
Jesus is telling the disciples the battle is here, the conflict is here, the division is here but the
time for peace has not come yet. What are we do with this hard saying of Jesus? First we need
to acknowledge we are not currently in a state peace. The arrival of Jesus into human history
does not bringing a new conflict into the world but highlights the one that is already here. It is not
as though everything was peaceful and smooth until Jesus arrived and then things got conflicted
and divided. In fact it is the opposite, Jesus brings clarity.
There was peace in the beginning, in the garden, why? Because, God made it so. Because of
sin, man choosing to declare his independence from the God who made him and a war began.
We are divided, divided from ourselves as conflict rages inside of us. We are divided from each
other in our relationships with others individually and groups/sects/nations corporately. Most
importantly, we are not at peace with God. Jesus didn’t start the conflict, but He will finish it.
Jesus comes to offering us terms of surrender to His Father’s kingdom, pays our war debt with
his own blood on the cross, and says you will be on my mission.
Second, we need to understand Peace is not the absence of conflict; it is the restoration of order
and relationship. Hebrew word for peace is Shalom, a much more comprehensive term. The
word peace here is in Greek and means simply, freedom from worry. Freedom from worry is
not here for those divided from God, defined by sin, and in open conflict with the holy, perfect
Creator. You should look at the world and your heart apart from God and be worried. The
absence of conflict is not always the best place to be. There is very little outward conflict in
places like North Korea, there is no decent. There is only slavish acceptance to a status quo
that is less than what God desires for people. God the Father rightly sees the current state of
His creation because of sin is not good, not the way he made it. So He send His promised Son
into the world on mission for the world. God loves the world and those in it enough not to let it
remain the way it is. We need Jesus to bring conflict to our world because without out conflict
there is no hope for things to change, only for them to remain in a perpetual state of division
separated from God.
Third, we need to understand Peace can only come through conflict. Specifically Peace
can only come from victory, victory over evil and overcoming sin. Where evil and sin dwell,
peace is not possible. This means for followers of Jesus, we are in battle. Ephesians 6:12
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities,
against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the
heavenly places. There is evil, there is sin. If you are not waging war on sin in your own life
in some fashion, then you have given yourself over to it. If you are not sure there is hostility
to the message of Jesus as King and the values of the Kingdom being necessary for human
flourishing, Go ahead, stir the pot, try talking about biblical sexually with your coworkers, try
telling the guys that come to your door they don’t know Jesus like they think they do, try telling
someone Jesus is king over everything and our government is but a mere shadow of real
authority. The good news is we are in a battle where ultimate victory is assured by our King
Jesus., but it is a conflict that currently still rages. Jesus knows there is a temptation to water
down this gospel and to try to make it more appealing to more people to unify based on their
personal preferences. This is not the final reconciliation time, this is time for division.
2 Cor 2: 14-16 14But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession,
and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15For we are
the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are
gospel leads victory, but the gospel still divides.
V 10:35-37 Jesus Divides Families to Restore Relationships
Our family relationships are so fluid and the structures are often a confusing and as sound
as a house of cards. Some of us are close to our families and others are not. For the people
Jesus was talking too what he was saying was completely inconceivable. For 1st
there was no great duty or loyalty then to your family, particularly to the father as patriarch. A
newlywed couple often lived with the groom’s parents as they were starting out, this meant
the relationship between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law was a formal one of training. This
meant at some point MILs and DILs we supposed to get along. I am betting Jesus didn’t have
to do too much work on splitting up those too. Here Jesus is saying he is going to set a man
against his father, a daughter against her mother. Why? How can this be an improvement?
Micah 7:6-7 6
the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house.
to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. The
for the son treats the father with contempt, the daughter rises up against her
7 But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear
me. Jesus quote verses not talking about a time of peace, the prophet Micah was talking about
at time of so much tribulation even people’s closest friends and family would not be trustworthy,
yet the Lord still comes to save.
In Luke 14:26 Jesus lays out the cost of discipleship and says we are to “hate” our parents
and our children. Really? No, the word specifically means to “love less” than. Where is your
highest loyalty placed? It is an easy question to answer, when two completing priorities come
face to face which one wins? There is to be a hierarchy of relationships, with Jesus #1 and ALL
others secondary. Our family relationships are not insignificant or non-existent but they are to
be completely “less than” our relationship with Jesus. Jesus is restoring an order that is often
inverted. “Family First” sounds great, but not at the expense of Jesus second. We can’t make
the mistake of turning our families into idols and worship them above Jesus. Jesus doesn’t say
this because he is an ego manic or because he doesn’t not want us to be loving to our families.
Jesus knows the best way for us to love to our families, is to love, sever, follow Jesus faithfully.
Jesus tells us citizens of His kingdom will love God and love people. Loving God, serving Jesus
restores our relationship to their proper order. Jesus doesn’t tell his follower to dust their feet off
and disengage when it comes our families, OR to actively seek conflict with them. He is saying
for those who are faithfully following Him, those in your family who don’t follow Jesus will oppose
you when you display your ultimate allegiance to God as your Father. Stay engaged with your
families AND follow Jesus. We don’t sacrifice the truth or goodness in an attempt to keep
peace, lack of conflict, with our families. Jesus experienced this, his own brother and sisters
didn’t believe he was God, they thought he was “out of his mind”, until the resurrection. He was
betrayed by Judas who was one of his closest partners in ministry for 3 years.
V 10:38-39 Jesus Divides Lives to Save Souls
Jesus calls all His disciples to obey his commands and identify with Him at the expense of all
our personal, self-centered goals, aspirations, or even fears we work against. He tells us to
actively divide out our own wills, desires, and preferences, hand them over to Jesus and take
up a new life with Jesus as King. It is an exchange, we give Jesus our life of selfish rebellion
against God for a life of self-denial and he gives us the salvation of our souls now and forever.
No longer under wrath, we begin a new abundant life Jesus promises for those who follow Him.
It is abundant because we are with God, no longer divided by our sin.
Matt 16:26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what
shall a man give in return for his soul? There is an alternative path, but it does not save your
Following Jesus is a one way road, one where you are taking on a path you know won’t lead
to universal earthly acclaim or acceptance and will likely lead to greater difficulty and conflict
as you continue in faithfulness in an unfaithful world. This is Jesus instructions to the 12 on
what being on mission is going to be like. We talked a few weeks ago about how ordinary, or
even extraordinarily unqualified for effective ministry the 12 apostles were. Yet, Jesus set them
apart for His mission and their road leads them to great suffering here on earth and by worldly
standards tragic ends to their lives that mirror the death of Jesus. Church history teaches us
Peter was crucified upside down. Thomas was run through with spears and burned alive. James
was thrown down from the top of the temple spire. Matthias, Simon the Zealot, Nathanael,
Philip, were all crucified after severe beatings. Paul after suffering in multiple prisons was
beheaded by Nero in Rome. John was the only one who died of old age; but even he was boiled
in hot oil scaring his skin before being exiled to the island of Patmos. These men are all in glory
enjoying abundant eternal life.
V 10:40-11:1Jesus Divides Rewards to Continue the Mission
Yes there will be pain on the road of faithfulness and mission. We should be empowered for
mission knowing when we are rejected they are not rejecting us, they are rejecting Jesus. When
we are received they are receiving Jesus. There is a purpose in the pain and rewards during
the mission. Jesus is clear, there are rewards. However, they may not always be for you. The
rewards Jesus talks about here are not rewards for those who are being sent but to those who
we are sent too, that receive Jesus. Our mission is not about our rewards, but understanding
there are those who need to receive what we have been given. This means we pour into people
regardless of what we expect to get in return. Who has poured into you?
Our church has benefitted from the work of other faithful servants on mission for the king
pouring into those they have been sent to and they are not receiving any benefits from them
other than they see the benefits to the kingdom being of more value than any personal success
or gain. We reach people for Jesus, call them to Jesus, train them for Jesus, send them for
Jesus. When they go, we hope we are following Jesus example, we keep preaching and
teaching in the places we’ve been called to go to or stay at.
CROSS Jesus Brings Together
Jesus came to divide, Jesus came to bring conflict. But Jesus also came on a mission to endure
conflict. The cross is a place of immense conflict where creation sought to kill the Creator. Jesus
didn’t come to suffer and die on the cross because of a selfish reward he would receive, he did
so for the joy of saving sinners.
Heb 12:2 2
set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the
throne of God.
Jesus reward for the cross was the joy of know the shame of sin that divides us from God is
removed by his blood. Jesus’ reward was knowing those in conflict with God, destined for wrath
could now be saved and real peace, shalom, could come to those who surrender to Him. The
cross is a place of infinite peace as Jesus secured victory over sin and death.
Col 1:19-20 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to
reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his
Jesus does bring peace and Jesus reunites God to His people by the cross. Trust Jesus!
looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was
More in Mission of the King | Matthew Part II
September 14, 2014Rejecting Jesus | Matthew 13:53-58 (Mville)
September 7, 2014Parables of Kingdom Power and Price | Matthew 13 (Mville)
August 10, 2014Denying Jesus | Matthew 12:22-37 (Mville)