August 18, 2013



Today the gospel of Luke confronts us with some very difficult words of Jesus. Jesus sounds as though he’s come to bust up the nuclear family:

51Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! 52From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; 53they 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 daughterin‐law against mother‐in‐law.

For Christians living in the United States, these words sound completely wrong. How could Jesus possibly be against the family? Especially in the 1980s and 1990s, we American Christians heard again and again about “family values.” During those years the phrase “family values” became a common political slogan in this country, used by both Republicans and Democrats to try and win votes, even though the meaning of “family values” became squishy because Democrats and Republicans used the phrase to mean significantly different things. Whatever “family values” actually meant in that political debate, it emphasized for many Americans that the institution of the family is hugely important for broader society.

Bible References

  • Luke 12:49 - 53