34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword [of division between belief and unbelief].35 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;36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his [own] household [when one believes and another does not].
37 “[a]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.38 And he who does not take his [b]cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me] is not worthy of Me.39 Whoever finds his life [in this world] will [eventually] lose it [through death], and whoever loses his life [in this world] for My sake will find it [that is, life with Me for all eternity].
Matthew 10:38The historical background behind this statement is that those who were about to be crucified had to carry the crossbeam to which they would be nailed or bound. In addition to the terrible agony that crucifixion inflicted, it was such a great indignity that some of the Roman writers used the word cross as a curse word in the expression “Go to a bad cross!” (Lat i in malam crucem).
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