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.”
Romans 12:17-18 says: Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Carefully consider what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible on your part, live at peacewith everyone. Hebrews 12:14 says: Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Many people believe living in or at peace with others is one of the foundational aspects of Christian faith. They cite what Jesus says in Matthew 5:39-41: I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. They also point out Jesus own nonresistance to His arrest and crucifixion. Surely it is good and right to follow the example of Jesus; to do what He did and what He says. It is not that we should not live in peace or at peace with others. But, we also must understand that spiritual truths are not always fully and directly applicable in the natural and physical realm. We are to pray that it would be on earth as it is in heaven. We cannot or should not apply the standards and limitations of the world to the spiritual truths of the heavenly realm. There is more to the peace of Christ than the peace 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.” In John 14:27 Jesus says: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” Returning to what it says in Romans: Carefully consider what is right in the eyes of everybody and in Hebrews: Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy, what is right does not mean everyone’s opinion, but rather it is what is righteous and holy. Like Jesus, we will bring a sword of division, even as we are at peace, when we stand for holiness and righteousness. The peace we give is not the peace that the world gives, but rather it is the peace that comes from abiding in Christ and His righteousness. In John 16:33 Jesus says: “I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” Romans 12:21 says: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. We are to be at peace with people, but we should not be at peace with evil and sin. We are, like Jesus, to overcome the world and to overcome evil with good. God is a God of peace. Romans 16:20 says: The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. Even as we walk in His grace and peace, God is crushing our enemy.
Today’s text ends saying: When Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities. Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: 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.” Who could be offended by the blind receiving sight, the lame walking, the deaf hearing and the dead raised to life? But many are offended at the preaching of the gospel. They are offended not by the good works of Christ, but rather by His righteousness and holiness; by the truth. They are not offended by our peace, but they war against righteousness and holiness. In today’s text Jesus speaks of another division that exists because of Him. He says: “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.” The only way to real peace is to confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Only then will we know His peace, the peace that passes all understanding.
May Philippians 4:4-9 be our prayer today: Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. Amen.