What does Matthew 10:37 mean?
ESV: Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
NIV: 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.
NASB: The one who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and the one who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
CSB: The one who loves a father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; the one who loves a son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
NLT: If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.
KJV: He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
NKJV: 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.
Verse Commentary:
Jesus has warned His disciples that He has come to bring a sword of division in Israel. This is not a reference to violence or revolution, but to the schism that the gospel can cause. Those who refuse to accept Christ will hate and persecute those who believe (John 15:18–21). The division will take place even between immediate family members. Fathers and sons will turn on each other, as well mothers and daughters. The issue will be belief in Jesus Himself. Is He the Messiah, the Son of God? Those who refuse to acknowledge Him will reject those of their own family who put their faith in Jesus and begin to follow His ways (1 Peter 4:3–4).

This will force many of Jesus' followers to make a difficult choice. Will they keep peace with their parents and/or children by denying faith in Jesus? Or will they be willing to lose connection to their family members in order to continue to follow Jesus and acknowledge to others that He is the Christ?

Jesus is demanding His rightful place in the hearts of His people. They must love Him more than all others and demonstrate that is true if forced to make a choice. This does not change Scripture's demand that children honor their parents (Ephesians 6:2) and that parents provide for their children (Ephesians 6:4; 1 Timothy 5:8). Jesus does not say "do not love" those other people—what He says is that we ought to love God more.

Loving others is the second greatest commandment, but it is behind the first: to love God with everything we have (Matthew 22:34–40). In making this statement, Jesus continues to make the claim that He is God. Love and obedience to Him must come before obedience to any other person or group (Acts 5:29).
Verse Context:
Matthew 10:34–39 contains some of Jesus' most challenging words. As usual, they can be easily misinterpreted when taken out of context. Christ's arrival in the world will bring division to Israel, as even family members turn on each other over the issue of whether He is the Messiah. Jesus says those who love family more than Him are not worthy of Him. He further heightens this idea of radical loyalty by comparing it to carrying one's own cross: a metaphor for death. Those who do follow Him, though, will find the life that is true. Those who go their own way will lose their lives, no matter what they find on earth. This passage follows Jesus' instructions to the Twelve as they prepare to spread the gospel (Matthew 10:5–7).
Chapter Summary:
Jesus gives His authority over disease, demons, and even death to His twelve hand-picked apostles. He gives them instructions in preparation both for a short-term trip to the towns of Galilee and their ministry after He has left the earth. First, they will preach His message of the kingdom in Israelite towns as they heal and cast out demons to demonstrate His power. Later, they will suffer great persecution as they represent Him before both Jews and Gentiles. They should not be afraid, though, and trust their Father to be with them and to reward them.
Chapter Context:
Jesus has recently expressed compassion for the people of Israel, who are spiritually lost. Matthew 10 is a record of Jesus' instructions to His twelve core apostles, as He sends them on a short-term trip to the towns of Galilee. He also includes warnings and encouragements about the persecution they will eventually experience. In chapter 11, Jesus will continue to proclaim truth to the people of Israel, leading to further conflict with local religious leaders.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
Accessed 5/26/2024 10:58:53 AM
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