Men, be prepared for people to accuse you of violating the Scripture, "Honor thy father and thy mother" when they hear your new name. They think once your parents have named you, you must uphold the family name. They claim you dishonor the family traditions by changing your name. In this society, a man is to carry on the family name, but the woman is free to change her name when she marries - and usually does. At least 50 percent of the population change their name - it is common practice. Yet when a man announces his marriage to Christ, why is his new name rejected?
Do we violate "Honor thy father and thy mother" when we receive a new name from God? Didn't Christ command us to honor our father and mother? Let's take a look.
At Matthew 12:46, we find Jesus talking with the people. His mother and brothers are outside, wanting to speak with Him. Now did Jesus immediately excuse Himself saying, "I must honor my mother and attend to her needs." No. He replied:
48"Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" 49And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, "Here are My mother and My brothers! 50For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother."
Jesus was discerning a different family. It was a family, not as the world perceives a family, but a family based on those doing His Father's will. Christ was dividing the families of the world from the family of God. Those who do not do His Father's will are not of God's family. Whose family are they? I know of no other family except the family of Satan.
In another passage, Jesus declares that He had not come to bring peace but a sword:
35For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36And a man's foes will be those of his own household. 37He 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.
Normally, you would think Jesus would be wanting to keep the families together, but here He says that he has come to divide them. Jesus is not looking at the outward appearances that tie a family together. He is discerning the spirit that is within the man. He speaks of the sheep and the goats and how they will be divided, one on His left, one on His right.22 There are differences in spirit between the two and He is separating them. There will be two grinding at the mill, one will be taken the other one left; two in the field, one will be taken, the other one left.23 Both are doing the same outward activity, but He separates them according to the spirit within their hearts.
Christ doesn't discern by outward appearances. It is not by your bloodline, or the color of your skin or whether you are male or female.24 The Kingdom of Heaven is not made up of these things. He discerns only by spirit and it is spirit that separates the sheep from the goats. We must choose to serve either God or the devil.
Bob Dylan, Slow Train Coming
22 - Matthew 25:31-46
23 - Matthew 24:40, 41
24 - Galatians 3:28