Blood is NOT thicker than water

Our bible class continue to study the Gospel of Matthew.  Last week we read these words.

Matthew 10:21-22 Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death,  and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

The German proverb came to mind (Blut ist dicker als Wasser):  Blood is thicker than water.   In most cases, this idiom is meant to say than family bonds are stronger than that of friendships.  And if thought of this narrowly, I suppose it could be held to be true.  But if it is thought of more broadly as suggesting that family bonds are stronger than any other relationship, we as God’s people must say,  ” No.   Blood is NOT thicker than water.”

For the water of Baptism forms a bond that is even stronger than that of family.   That is what the scripture teaches.  Our connection is both to Christ and to one another.  And this connection is even thicker than blood.  In fact, it is so strong that it indeed can rip blood relation right in two.  One clinging to Christ, the other to his or her gods.

But all too often this idiom, while originally meant to speak about the precious nature of family, is an apt description of how family becomes an idol which leads people away from the fellowship they have through water and the word.   Not too long ago I was talking with an ELCA pastor about their recent decisions to allow gay clergy and the like.  I ask him what his rural Kansas congregation thought about all of that.  He said with obvious sadness, that unfortunately many of his people would soon embrace the very same positions as the church body (even though they did not now).  His reasoning was important.  It was not that they would be convinced through a theological  or biblical argument that it was okay.  He said they would soon find that they had a family member embracing such a lifestyle and would change their position essentially in an effort  to not lose that person.  Blood would be stronger for them than water.  They  would embrace that which was foreign to their faith in order to respect family ties.  I fear he spoke all too prophetically.

Family is good, and the strong bond of blood ought to be a reason to give thanks to God.  But even this bond much be placed in its right place.  Blood is NOT thicker than water.  The bond we have with Christ and with all who know him must always be viewed by us as even stronger than family.  If our family leaves Christ, we must with great sadness for our loss of family, remain where we are, with Christ, in the communion of saints.  The one who endures to the end will be saved.

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3 Responses to “Blood is NOT thicker than water”

  1. david masters Says:

    Dear Philip

    well written, but surely a pointless article;so many more important issues to discuss….you also seem to forget the 4th commandment,which by the way, preceeds ‘thou shalt not kill; your comment on gays seems to dismiss our lord saying ‘judge not….. etc. i fear the more religious one gets, the less pirital they themselves becomes. lets never forget that jesus chosse prostitutes and other unsavoury characters as his innermost companions. If you like making a point on a well known idiom, how about No Man is an Island, which would include the true love and tolerance of ALL people, as brilliantly versed in the parable of ‘the good samaritan’….i truely fear its becoming a christian’s duty to despise what does not tally with their own belief as in muslims, jews, gays, addicts etc, simply on the basis of their faith or lifestyle. I myself think that these persons would be HIS companions these days were HE to come back. again, lets not forget the last commandment Jesus gave us, ‘love one another….etc’, and this just before his demise.

    God Bless and please include me in your prayers. I was merely opining my point of view as to how Christians should behave these days and its fine that we differ in certain repects. I’m sure we would agree on the many others and this message in no way is intended to offend.

    Best regards

    David M

  2. mike M Says:

    Dear David,

    As Christians we should judge sin, afterall how can we know its sin without descernment. In Matthew when Jesus said do not judge He was talking about us “condemning” people who sin and say to ourselves they are hell bound or Heaven bound. For that is a decision only God will make on Judgement day.

    Jesus went on to say He didn’t come to judge. To prove my point, He called some people thieves, crooks, con artist, when He turned the tables in tge Temple after it had been turned into a market place. He judged those people right there. There are two types of Judgement, with the main one belonging to only the Father.

    As a matter of fact Jesus tells us to Judge one another among ourselves as believers and correct each other. Paul and James tells us to do so too. There is no correction without judgement.
    Jesus was not around prostitutes and criminals for hanging out, as mentioned in 2 corinthians, the only time we should associate with such Charecters is if and when its for His Glory.

  3. Bob Says:

    Don’t let any pastor or anyone tell you to leave your family due to this verse. It is used incorrectly a lot, no matter what your family does if ou are a true christian you would love the and hope your life would serve as an example to bring them to Christ.

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