Thursday, April 05, 2007

Jesus and the family

The sixth commandment:
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. (Exodus 20v12)
Is it just me, or does Jesus appear to break this one on a few occasions and even appear to encourage others to break it?
When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go."

Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."

Another disciple said to him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."

But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead." (Matthew 8v18-22)

Here Jesus seems to be telling the disciple to dishonour his (dead) father. On another occasion, Jesus says:

"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14v26)
On one level, this appears to be an anti-family statement too. And when Jesus's mother and brothers come looking for him in Matthew 12, Mark 3 and Luke 8, he appears to ignore them and keeps teaching the disciples. And what about this:
"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn
" 'a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her motherinlaw—
a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.' (Matthew 10v34-36)
That's about as clear as it gets.

So you've got to wonder when you hear folk talking about 'Christian family values'...

But does Jesus break one of the ten commandments here? I wonder if he broke any of the others?

No comments: