Matthew 10:21-22, “21 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
One of the most heart breaking things to witness is when a family rejects one of their own because they have decided to follow Jesus. Times like this remind me of the ole’ song, I Have Decided to Follow Jesus, written by Sadhu Sundar Singh. Sadhu was born into a Sikh family in northern India in 1889. He was trained as a young boy to be a Sikh, which is a break away religion from Hinduism, founded in in the 1500’s. Sikhism teaches the belief in one God and an ascetic lifestyle. However, after his mother died tragically he decided to kill himself but the night before he had a vision of Jesus. The next day he announced to his family that he was going to be a Christian, but his father disowned him and his brother tried to poison him.
At 16 years old, after being baptized, he left his home and lived with lepers in a Christian mission. With the passing of time he grew stronger in the Lord and received a calling to reach his people with the gospel. As a man he was well known all throughout India for traveling like Jesus from village to village preaching the good news. The words of his famous song reflect the cost he had to pay to follow Jesus, he wrote, “I have decided to follow Jesus… Though none go with me, still I will follow… Will you now decide to follow Jesus? No turning back, no turning back.”
In today’s passage, Jesus said that times would come to His disciples when family members would betray each other for the cause of Christ. During the time of the Nazis, parents and children were ordered to report each other if they were dissenters. What would you do if your parents were Nazis and told you they’d report you if they saw you praying? Jesus also said in Matthew 10:37-38, “37 Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” Sadly, there may come a time when you have to choose between Jesus and your family.
If our families ask us to choose between them or Jesus, we must always choose Jesus.
The solution to the hurt of being rejected by one’s family is the love and abiding presence of God. David said in Psalms 68:5-6 that God is, “5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. 6 God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.” This promise was reiterated by Jesus when He said in Mark 10:29-30, “29 ‘Truly I tell you,’ Jesus replied, ‘no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.’” Therefore, if our family doesn’t want us; God will give us a new family in His kingdom!
If you are hurting because people in your family have rejected you because of Christianity, pray this out loud, “Heavenly Father, I ask you to forgive my family and bring them to saving faith in you. I also ask that you will fill my heart with your unconditional love and acceptance for those who reject me. Comfort me now with your love and use your church to fill every relational void in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
- Repent if you have thought about walking away from Jesus because of family troubles.
- Pray and ask God to save and forgive your family if they have rejected you because of Jesus.
- Follow Jesus, even if no one else does- Jesus is worth it all! Revelation 12:11