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Division: What did Jesus say about Division

Jesus addressed the topic of division on several occasions, emphasizing both the inevitability of division due to His teachings and the importance of unity among His followers. Here are a few relevant Bible verses and their implications:

  1. Matthew 10:34-36 – “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 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. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.”
  2. Luke 12:51-53 – “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

These passages highlight that the message and call of Jesus can lead to division, even among close family members, because following Him may require choices that conflict with familial or societal expectations.

  1. John 17:20-23 – “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”

In contrast to the inevitability of division, Jesus also prayed fervently for the unity of His followers. This unity is crucial for the witness of the church to the world, showing the love and sending of the Father through the Son.

Three Main Takeaways:

  1. Inevitable Division: Following Jesus sincerely and faithfully may lead to division because His teachings and the commitment they require can be radically different from the values and priorities of the world, including those of our closest relationships.
  2. Purpose of Division: The division Jesus talks about isn’t for the sake of conflict itself but highlights the transformative and often challenging nature of the Gospel. Choosing to follow Jesus means prioritizing His teachings and commandments, which can naturally lead to division with those who do not share the same commitment.
  3. Call to Unity: Despite the inevitability of division, Jesus places immense value on the unity of His followers. This unity is not based on compromising the Gospel but on shared love for Christ and each other. It serves as a powerful testament to the world of God’s love and the truth of Jesus’ message and mission.

Understanding and navigating the tension between the division brought by allegiance to Jesus and the call to unity among believers is a vital part of Christian discipleship and witness.


  • Greg Gaines

    Father / Grandfather / Minister / Missionary / Deacon / Elder / Author / Digital Missionary / Foster Parents / Welcome to our Family

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