Verse of the Day Devotion: Matthew 10:37
“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.” – Matthew 10:37
Who do we love most? This is a question we need to answer in our own lives. Let us first look back at verse 34 which reads, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34. This is not to be interpreted as He is forcing this division, but that it will be the effect of His coming. His message is of ultimate importance because it is the message of salvation; that God loves us beyond measure, and that He desires us to give our lives to Him so He can provide His life for us. That being eternal life with Him. Without this message, we will not know of His love and grace for us and ultimately not know our sins can be forgiven.
Also, “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.” Matthew 10:35-36. Jesus is probably using a verse from Micah to bring His point across. “for the son treats the father with contempt, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house. But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.” Micah 7:6-7. This was happening in Micah’s time probably because of the corruption that had infiltrated God’s people. However, Micah was going to look to the Lord instead of man. Jesus also speaks of this earlier in chapter 10. “Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 10:21-22.
Now, taking this one step further with our focus verse, “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.” Matthew 10:37. I cannot say this any better that Adam Clarke, so I will quote him here. Note, the last five words of this I altered, using the words in our focus verse. “He whom we love the most is he whom we study most to please, and whose will and interests we prefer in all cases. If, in order to please a father or mother who are opposed to vital godliness, we abandon God’s ordinances and followers, we are unworthy of Christ.” If we choose to believe or act according to the wishes of any person, but these beliefs or actions are contrary to God and His ways, then we love that person more than God and thus are not worthy of Him. This is tough, but true. We must be totally devoted to Him, regardless of how anyone or any group may think about us.
Let me be open with you all. I unfortunately, in my past, have done things that people wanted me to do which I knew was wrong. But because I wanted/needed friends, I participated in it. I was a very shy person growing up with no self-confidence. When I arrived at Homestead AFB for duty, the first two guys I met introduced me to drugs. I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway because I had no other friends and I was desperate to find one. After a couple years, God showed me the reality of who He is and I stopped instantly, giving my life completely to Him. For months, it was just me and God. After a time, God led me to so many Christian friends I was overwhelmed. I guess I needed to develop a relationship with Him that was strong and powerful, and to see that He was more important than anyone else.
I tell this story because, at that time, I wanted friends more than God. I went through a lot during this time, but He was there with me all the time, and I finally learned that loving God and fellowshipping with Him was more important than anyone or anything else. I pray that we all will examine ourselves and pray fervently that our love for God will take precedence in our lives and that everyone else is secondary, thus being worthy of Christ, our Lord, King and greatest friend.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.