Honor Thy Parents

Joseph Francis Alward
November 4, 1998

Matthew says that Jesus told his disciples to "Honor your father and mother"  (Matthew 19:19), but elsewhere the Bible writers make it clear they thought that Jesus did not respect his mother, and came to earth to turn children against their parents.



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Luke thinks that Jesus requires his followers to hate their parents:

"Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother. . .cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14.26)

Furthermore, Matthew has Jesus apparently contradict himself about children honoring their parents.  Matthew thinks that Jesus came to earth to turn sons and daughters against their parents: 


Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to turn "a man against his father, a daughter against her mother..."  (Matthew 10:34-36)


John makes it clear that Jesus had little more respect for his mother than for a houseservant, calling her "woman, " instead of "mother." When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus, ever the thoughtful hostess, said to him, "They have no wine."  What does Jesus say?  He dismisses her contemptuously with the words: "Woman, what concern is that to you and me?  My hour has not yet come." (John 2:3-4)  

When a disciple begs for permission to bury his father, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father.", Jesus told him to let him rot:  "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead."  (Matthew 8:21-22)  Let the father rot?  Is this the same Jesus who Matthew said told his disciples to love their parents?