We Americans have enemies: ISIS, the Taliban, North Korea, and so on. The Israelites had enemies, too: the Philistines, the Romans, the Samaritans, and so on. Jesus came along, however, and included in the enemies list the members of one’s own family. How can this be? First, let’s read what He said, noticing that He quotes the prophet Micah in the process:
Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to
SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER,
AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER,
AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW;
and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD. – Micah 7:6
He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.
– Matthew 10:32-39
An enemy is someone who opposes you. Jesus knew that whoever followed Him would encounter opposition – even in his own family. Yes, even our own family members can be against us when we seek to follow the living God. Remember, though, that Jesus said we must love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. In time, our perseverance will win them over.
Do not be surprised when your efforts to please God encounter resistance. This is the fermentation that is part of leavening the lump of family.