by John and Ruth Greene
Yahshua [Jesus] did not come to bring the kind of peace that glosses over deep differences, nor did He expect the world to be at peace. Argument arises from those that choose to argue instead of seeking YHWH and His Word. By choosing to follow Messiah, you can look forward to the day that the assembly of His people shake off superficial harmony, conflict and disagreement. Many do not choose Messiah, but a substitute. You and I can look forward to the day when all conflict will be resolved by YHWH. (Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 5:9; John 14:47; Matthew 10:34)
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. I came to divide a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a bride against her mother-in-law. ‘Ones hostile to the man shall be those of his own house.’ The one loving father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And the one loving son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” – Matthew 10:34-37, NKJV
Yahshua [Jesus] said that He came to separate friends and family. In saying this, Yahshua [Jesus] was not encouraging disobedience to parents or conflict at home. Instead, He proved that His presence demands a decision. Some will follow Messiah and some will not. Conflict will inevitably arise as you take up ‘your stake’ to follow Him. The values and purposes instilled in your new personality in Messiah will set you apart. Your faith may set you apart from your family and friends. This is to be expected. The words of Yahshua [Jesus] are not advice to neglect and hate your family, but admonition to remember your personal commitment to YHWH as your first priority. Why? YHWH calls disciples to a higher mission than to find comfort and tranquility in this life. Love of family is a law of Elohim [YHWH, ‘God’]. However, even the love of family can be self-serving and used as an excuse not to serve YHWH. This is what Yahshua [Jesus] is talking about. Loyal and sanctified disciples of Yahshua [Jesus] must be willing to publicly identify with Him and are almost certain to experience opposition, even suffering and death.
“And he who does not take up his stake and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life shall lose it, and he that has lost his life for My sake shall find it.” – Matthew 10:38-39, ISR98
Verse 39 is both a positive and negative truth for disciples. Holding to a worldly [profane, kosmos] way of life may cause you to stop the best that YHWH has for you in this world. Your decisions may separate you from YHWH entirely. That is your right and your choice. The more you love the rewards of life on earth (leisure, power, popularity, financial gain, security), the more you discover the emptiness of the world. In fact, the selfish way that the dark kingdom looks at reward is not the way a disciple of the Messiah should think about reward. The best way to enjoy life is to loosen your greedy hands from earthly rewards, a lifestyle of mammon and attitudes that accompany the dark kingdom. This requires that you abide in YHWH and allow the Holy Spirit [Sanctified, Set Apart Spirit], Elohim’s counselor to operate in your life. This enables you to inherit life and begin at once to experience the benefits of discipleship.
“And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to drink to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple, truly I say to you, ‘In no way will he lose his reward.’” – Matthew 10:42, NKJV
How much do you love your Heavenly Father? This can be measured in part by how well you treat others. The illustration of a cup of cold water to a child is a valuable model of unselfish service. YHWH notices every good deed that you do or fail to do. It is as if Yahshua [Jesus] is the One receiving what you do to the people around you. Do you know of something you can do for someone else today? Will you do good deeds even while nobody else is looking? Elohim always notices what you do.