“For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—’”
Explanation and Commentary of Matthew 10:35
Christ quotes the prophet, Micah (Mic 7:6). When the prophet spoke, he was stating the way things had become in the land for God’s people. It was the state of things. No one was good, and so no one could be trusted. It seems that Jesus uses the words in a slightly different way. He will turn some hearts to good, but that will put them at odds with members of their own household who do not hold to the faith and are still in their unrighteousness. Though the intensity of the opposition will vary from house to house, the divide will be distinct.
Jesus has a claim on his people that circumvents family ties. Blood is thicker than water, and the blood of Christ is the thickest. His ways are so thoroughly different from the ways of the world, as the light is thoroughly opposite of the dark, that if a man or woman does not appear distinct from even their non-Christian family members, then they would want to question their beliefs or their own behavior. It should be clear to the church and the world who follows Jesus.
Christians will love who and what the world hates and hate what the world loves. We will no longer walk as we once did, in darkness (Eph 4:17). “For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you” (1 Pt 4:3-4). Jesus pronounced woe on those who all men speak well of, as they did of the false prophets (Lk 6:26).
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Matthew 10:35
Jesus has said rather than peace on the earth, he is bringing a sword. In the current age, he will not save all men and women, but only those who believe and choose him, turning them in opposition to the world.
#2 “…I have come…”
Before one could believe in his miracles, his resurrection, and his coming again, the first act of faith is to believe in his incarnation from a virgin and the Spirit of God.
#3 “to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother,”
This is shocking to the Jewish sensibilities, even when Micah spoke it. God himself calls us to honor our father and mother (Ex 20:12).
#4 “a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.’”
This is the least surprising of the family conflicts. Nevertheless, in the ancient world for a young wife to stand up to her elder mother-in-law was radical.
Bible Study on Matthew 10:35
Expert Overview of Matthew Ch. 1-13
Biblical Translations of Matthew 10:35
“For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.'”
“I have come to set ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.'”
“For I have come to set ‘a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.'”
“For I am come to set ‘a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.'”
“For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.'”
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Masters Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.