Matthew 10:21 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 10:21, NIV: Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.

Matthew 10:21, ESV: Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death,

Matthew 10:21, KJV: And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.

Matthew 10:21, NASB: 'Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.

Matthew 10:21, NLT: 'A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed.

Matthew 10:21, CSB: "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.

What does Matthew 10:21 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

A hand-picked group of twelve men are being sent by Jesus, into Galilee, to work miracles and preach His message (Matthew 10:5–8). He began by giving them specific instructions for an immediate mission to the towns of Israel (Matthew 10:9–15). Now, He is describing a future season after His own death, resurrection, and return to heaven. In that time, these twelve apostles will be arrested for speaking on His behalf. They will appear before courts and tribunals and kings and governors. This will give them the opportunity to tell Jesus' story and preach the gospel to people at every level of society (Matthew 10:16–20).

Now Jesus is emphasizing how fierce the opposition to Him and His message will become. It will not just create conflict with those in authority; the gospel message of Jesus will also bitterly divide families. In some places, men will turn over their own brothers to the authorities to carry out their death sentence against Christians. Fathers will do the same to their children. Children will do likewise to parents.

To be clear, it will not be the Jesus followers turning their family members over to be killed. It will be family members who are so deeply opposed to the teaching of Jesus' kingdom that they will turn on family members who express faith in Christ. This happened during the time of the apostles and the early church, and it continues to happen today in many parts of the world. Sadly, the unbelieving world will often respond to the gospel with hate and anger (John 15:18–20; 1 Peter 4:3–4; Matthew 5:11–12).