And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
Read Chapter 10
Hilary of Poitiers
This entire saying of the Lord refers to the Jews and the heretics: “Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents.” The family in a single house will disagree among themselves. This means that whereas the people were formerly united (for the “people” is meant under the names of parents and relatives), we will now be exposed to vicious hatred. We will be offered up to earthly judges and kings, who attempt to secure either our silence or our cooperation. For we are to bear testimony to these people and to the Gentiles, and after that testimony has been borne, our persecutors will be deprived of the excuse that they are ignorant of divine things. When Christ has been prophesied by the words of the martyrs amid the tortures of savage persecutors, the way will be open for the Gentiles to believe in him, though they remain stubborn.
How, then, one might say, will the rest of men believe, when they see on our account, children slain by their fathers, and brethren by brethren, and all things filled with abominations? What? Will not men, as though we were destructive demons, will they not, as though we were devoted, and pests of the world, drive us out from every quarter, seeing the earth filled with blood of kinsmen, and with so many murderers? Surely fair is the peace (is it not?) which we are to bring into men's houses and give them, while we are filling those houses with so many slaughters. Why, had we been some great number of us, instead of twelve; had we been, instead of unlearned and ignorant, wise, and skilled in rhetoric, and mighty in speech; nay more, had we been even kings, and in possession of armies and abundance of wealth; how could we have persuaded any, while kindling up civil wars, yea, and other wars far worse than they? Why, though we were to despise our own safety, which of all other men will gi...
. He foretells to them the things that will happen, so that when they occur the disciples will not be dismayed. He also shows them the power of the Gospel that is preached, how it causes men to hold in contempt nature itself, for such is Christianity. He also reveals the inhuman rage of those who will not spare even their closest kin.