“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 one’s foes will be members of one’s own household. 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; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.” (Reference: Matthew 10:34-39 )
Discipleship has a high cost. Do not think, beloved, that entire families were persuaded to the faith of the historic Anabaptists. It tore families apart. One of the early believers had a father who was held in high esteem by the state religion. As the days, weeks, and months advanced and the historic Anabaptists drew further away from the state religion, the divide in that family and other families grew wider and deeper. Many of the letters written from prison by the historic Anabaptists were as much to explain their faith and persuade their family members to embrace this new faith as they were to console and comfort them.
During Jesus’ ministry he was advised to consider the effect that it had on his family, his mother and brothers. He replied, in essence, that family ties and relationships pale in comparison to allegiance to God, and the connection through the family of God. But the above passage from Matthew is not about this interchange, but tells of Jesus sending out the 12 disciples to heal and preach the message that Jesus gave them. Jesus is warning them that their ministry may not be one of peace and ease, but may be difficult and strain relationships. The historic Anabaptists found it so, and took comfort I imagine that their suffering was not the first in the history of Christianity, nor would it be the last.
May you beloved stand firm in your faith, no letting any earthly ties stop you from following your God. Selah!