Luke 12:51-53 Tell us that the Christian messiah not only didn’t bring peace but he brought war. This contradicts the Tanakh’s qualifiers as the Messiah (Isaiah 2:1-4, Isaiah 11:1-9, Ezekiel 40-48, Daniel 2:44, Zechariah 14)1. This, however, is not the worst violation; he goes onto contradict Torah. In verse 53 he states “… father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother…”. Matthew 10:21-22 spurs on this same mindset. As we look earlier in Luke, we see Jesus getting frustrated with followers. He makes an ultimatum with one man; either bury your father or follow me, to another he denies him the opportunity to bid farewell to his family (Luke 9:59-62). The difference between the Tanakh and Christian writings is that Christ has people choose between family and Jesus, whereas God’s Word has His followers embrace family (Exodus 20:12, 21:17, Leviticus 19:3, Deuteronomy 5:16, Proverbs 1:8, 30:17).
In Exodus 20:12 the word for “honoring” your parents is “kabed” which also means to be heavy, weighty, or burdensome2. That really makes the word honoring not seem very warm and loving. It actually makes it feel more like commitment. But; maybe it is. If honoring was effortless, requiring no energy or thought, why would we be demanded to give it. We would just do it. Honoring means to donate time and be respectful (even when you don’t want to).
Also, lets us not view honoring somebody by blindly doing it “their way” and denying our own rights. Honoring is to respect, and by being insincere or pretending to be somebody we are not, we are not being respectful. Honoring, also is about patience and humility. Think about a boss who is open minded enough to listen to you. If you disagree with him, you would find a tactful way to address the issue while leaving everyone’s dignity intact. Remember you can honor somebody and still “agree to not agree” with them.
So, why did Jesus contradict the Torah and encourage families to be pitted against one another? A possibility was to preserve his new religion. If we look back at that period of time, we will see that Christianity saw itself as a branch that grew out of Judaism. Many of the first converts were Jewish, i.e. the apostilles and Paul. Assuredly many Jewish parents fought to keep their daughters and son steeped in pure Judaism and saw Christianity as idolatry because they worship a human deity. In order for these converts to follow this movement they would have to be encouraged to break from their families. Thus Christianity needed to compromise Torah to in order to be advanced.
Just to bring this into reality, my parents are not religious people. It was easy for me to get frustrated with them or to tune their opinions out. However, now I sit patiently and hear their point of view. In response they listen to mine. The other day they challenged the idea of a worldwide flood. I did not respond by quoting Genesis 7, instead I gave the scientific proof3 ,that there was a flood of biblical proportions. Since they are factual people they actually became very attentive and starting asking questions. In honoring our parents, we should be led by our brains not our hearts; “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26). Thus follow His laws, not your heart. Additionally, no messiah should ever tell us to break Torah.
Please read our previous articles on this topic:
- “Exodus 20:12 Lexicon: “Honor Your Father and Your Mother, That Your Days May Be Prolonged in the Land Which the LORD Your God Gives You.” Exodus 20:12 Lexicon: “Honor Your Father and Your Mother, That Your Days May Be Prolonged in the Land Which the LORD Your God Gives You. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2016.