v 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man Jesus is not from God, for he is working on the Sabbath.” Others said, “But how could an ordinary sinner do such miraculous signs?” So there was a deep division of opinion among them.
Confronted with the both the teaching and miracles of Jesus some kind of response was called for. For some it was the response of faith. There were those like Jesus’ disciples who were committed to following him, right round to downright sceptics who felt Jesus was a lawbreaker because he healed people on the Sabbath. John tells us it was more than differences of opinion; it was a deep division which set people either for or against Jesus. Jesus himself, in Matthew 10, warned that these differences would even divide households. “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword. ‘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. Your enemies will be right in your own household. “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.”
It is not surprising that we find households divided over matters of faith and following Jesus even today. We would like to think that faith would unite families but sadly that is not always the case. There are households where only one or two members are faithful in following Jesus, and that can create real problems of family loyalty and priorities. The Christian family of the Church neds to be watchful and loving in supporting such individuals.