In Matthew’s context, it is clear that Jesus is warning about the division that can come in a home when one person becomes a disciple of Jesus and others do not. In many cases, new believers can feel rejected, or even be expelled from their families. In such cases, Jesus says, one must decide which relationship to keep. In Luke 14 and Matthew 10, Jesus is saying that if you have to choose, choose him. Ideally, we don’t have to choose – our non-believing family members tolerate our faith, or come to also trust in Jesus. But if they force us to make a choice – choose Jesus, every time.
Both passages remind us that the same is true of life itself. In most cases, the non-believing world allows us to keep living if we become Christians. But if it forces a choice upon us of living without Jesus or dying with Jesus – choose Jesus, every time. Easy to say, not so easy to do.
From Gary Manning (our favorite Greek prof!)