Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other!
Billy Graham said, “Salvation is free, but discipleship costs everything we have.” That makes sense because some people don’t give their lives to Christ for fear of what others might think.
In Luke 9 we find the story of a man whom Jesus called to follow Him. But instead of following Jesus, the man said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father” (verse 59 NLT).
It’s important for us to understand that the man was using a common figure of speech that meant “I can’t do it right now. Let me wait until my parents have died and are buried, and then when it’s more convenient, I’ll follow You.”
He was making excuses, and people do the same thing today. They don’t want to follow Jesus because they don’t want to jeopardize a relationship, or they’re afraid that it might cause tension in the family.
That’s right. It will.
Jesus said, “Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other! From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against—or two in favor and three against” (Luke 12:51–52 NLT).
However, this is division that can ultimately bring unity. It’s friction that can ultimately bring peace.
Let’s say, for example, that someone becomes a Christian and their family resents it. In fact, their family makes fun of them. But then as the believer makes a stand, one family member comes to Christ. Then two more become Christians. And then one day, an entire family that was full of nonbelievers is now a Christian family that is leaving a godly legacy to the next generation.
Are you willing to say, “Lord, I want to love You more than anyone or anything else”? That’s a good place to begin.