I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
Matthew 10:24-11:6 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!
26 “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
32 “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I came 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 household.
37 “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 cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.
40 “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”
11 When Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.
2 Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to Him, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” 4 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”
A good teacher or a good parent desires that their students or their children would exceed what they themselves have done. For believers though, we cannot exceed what Jesus or the Father has done, but we are called to be like them. Today’s text says: “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!” Many people want the power to do what Jesus did, but they do not acknowledge and are unwilling to pay the cost. Many want to walk with God, but remain friends with the world. In John 15:18-25 Jesus says: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’” If we would be like Jesus, we should not expect to be loved by the world.
Many who say they are the Lord’s, do not speak of their faith and their beliefs because they don’t want to offend others. In today’s text Jesus says: “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” In Luke 9:26 Jesus says: “Whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” In Matthew 5:13 Jesus says: “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” Because believers have failed to be a preserving element of good, truth and righteousness in our culture, what is good true and righteous has been thrown out and trampled under foot. Evil is called good and good evil. Darkness is substituted for light. It is a shame. But it is not only those who have done these things who will be shamed. It is also those who failed to stand for God and His word. In the end it would be better for us to offend them with the truth, than it is to be shamed by the darkness and evil of the world.
In today’s text Jesus says: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.” Ephesians 6:17 tells us that the sword of the Spirit is the word of God. Hebrews 4:12 says: The word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. God’s word may divide us from our friends and our families. They may view us as enemies. For us though, their thoughts and attitudes toward us, do not change how we respond to them. In Matthew 5:44-45 Jesus says: “I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” We are to love them so that the love of God would be revealed to them. We are to proclaim that: God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17) Those are words that we should never be ashamed to declare.
Jesus ends today’s text saying: “The blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.” Amen. Lord Jesus, may I be blessed and also be a blessing. May I never be ashamed of You or Your words. Even in the presence of those who are offended by the truth of the gospel, may I be a preserving element for good and light. May I proclaim Your love, that You so love the world that Christ died for our sins. May the blind see, the deaf hear and those who are dead to sin be raised up to life in You. Amen.