Following Jesus supersedes the values and understanding we place on the family unit.  Jesus’ own example towards his family would be disappointing to those who idolize family values.  He was the twelve year old that left his family to stay behind in the Temple at Jerusalem.  Jesus prioritized the people who came to see him over his own family members.  His family did not understand him and questioned his sanity.

He said troubling things about family commitments and relationship to those who considered becoming his followers.

Matthew 10:
34 "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
   " 'a man against his father,
      a daughter against her mother,
   a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law -
    36 a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.’
 37 "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

The love and obedience that Jesus calls for is given greater priority than our earthly obligations to family.  Jesus asks that we evaluate to whom our allegiance is due.  We must choose to go all the way to follow Jesus or else we have missed His point.

The history of persecution around the world has certainly proven the words of Jesus.  There are countless stories of people who have been betrayed and even put to death for going against the beliefs of their family.

That being said, Jesus is not out to destroy families, cause followers to abandon responsibility or damage people.  But He is saying something here that puts the pressure on His followers.  What is this sword in His hand and why does it swing your way?  What does it mean for your own family to become your enemies?

There are other places in Scripture that a sword is mentioned in reference to Jesus.  In examining these passages, we can learn something about the sword Jesus’ possesses.