if you want to experience what he meant
saying-16; inflammatory teachings.
Men think, perhaps, that it is peace which I have come to cast upon the world.
They do not know that it is dissension which I have come to cast upon the earth:
fire, sword, and war (struggle).
For there will be five in a house: three will be against two, and two against three,
the father against the son, and the son against the father.
Because of the aberrant if not outlandish and even blasphemous character of his teachings,
Jesus expected that people would become heavily divided over them. Hedrick (2010) states
that this saying, which second half is a significant close parallel to Micah 7:6, indicates
that Jesus' message was shaking religious foundations and conventional piety.
To further enhance the repellant character of his expectation, Jesus evokes an uneven
number of dissenting people, which means to say that reaching an eventual
balance in the forces pro and contra was out of the question.
The saying also points at the issue that the head of the household, the father, became upset
about his son putting aside his familial responsibility, when entering the itinerant life.
Plisch (2008) states: In view of the importance of Near Eastern family structures, this is a harsh
statement that can hardly be overrated in its radical view, but does not agree with
the idea of Quispel (2004) that the saying hints especially at conflict between generations.
That Jesus' teachings were in all probability taken as really outlandish may be illustrated
by the story in the gospel of Mark where even members of Jesus own family thought he
was mad, and tried to curb him!
(International Standard Version: Mark 3:21
When his family heard about it, they went to restrain him,
because they kept saying, “He’s out of his mind!”)
Vermes (1973) states that Jesus was regarded as an exceptional and controversial
religious teacher. "Both his life and his message were subversive" (Meyers, 2009).
Whether it was indeed religion that he taught, remains to be seen,
Vermes (1973) also notes that the lawyers accused him of blasphemy
because of his promise to forgive sins. However, the real reason Jesus was so
generous with "forgiving sins" was perhaps that he denounced
the concept of "sin" altogether - sins had already been forgiven, because there
was no such thing as "sin" in Jesus' mind. "Sin" was the presumed cause of the
deplorable state the Galilean peasant found themselves in - their own fault, as a
presumed lack of piety towards the Hebrew Deity. Both by his message and way of living
Jesus denied the Temple's and priesthood's monopoly of access to God, "marking him as
defector from the Temple system which Rome permitted as a form of social control"
(Meyers, 2009).Therefore, the reasons why the religious Hebrew establishment so vehemently
hated Jesus had likely a much more fundamental reason than merely his presumed
usurping functions assigned to only priests and prophets.
As he also denounced the atoning sacrifice system of large scale
killing and burning of all kinds of animals, and the whole of the financial system that
went with it of which the Temple officials highly profited. Nowhere can we read that Jesus ever
brought any animal sacrifice. No wonder they feared him,
and even to such extent that they aimed to kill him and indeed finally succeeded.
Having no fear of death, and in the absence of anything that caused Jesus to cling
to this existence (he really ruled over the all), he did not step away from
facing the ultimate consequences of his teachings.
One should realize that criticizing a current religion was not a phenomenon invented by Jesus.
Religion criticism flourishes in the 4th century BCE: scientific determinists, critics of myth, or of
divine morality, of divine justice, of divination. Most feared was the ‘atheist’ scientist, who
exchanged the gods by chance and necessity. (Parker, 2004).
Matthew 10.34; Luke 12.51.