Jesus, Peace, Swords?? What’s going on here?

Unesco-culture_of_peace

Today I was continuing my reading through Matthew, and I came across an interesting section of scripture.  Matthew 10 is where Jesus calls the disciples and sends them out to cast out demons, heal the sick, and spread the good news. 

But down here in v. 34, there's an interesting section, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn  " 'a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,  a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man's enemies will be the members of his own household." (Matthew 10:34-36)

Isn't Jesus the one who is the Prince of Peace?
Didn't He come to say, "Love your enemy?"
Wasn't Jesus all about the family?

So what's going on here.  Jesus came not to bring peace, but the sword?

I'm at a loss today.

Any suggestions?

2 Comments

  1. Look at what happens when you so much as speak the name of Jesus today…people get DIVIDED. The name of Jesus “cuts” people in half: some will praise His name and others will curse it. For some, the “lights get turned on” and it makes sense; for others, it is all crazy-talk.
    Even in families (mine being one of them) you can see how Jesus divides things. There are still many non-believers in my family, my mom being one of them. And after accepting Christ and choosing to live my life for Him, my relationship with my mom has suffered and we are not as close. You could say that in many ways our relationship has been “severed” by the “sword” of Jesus.
    As far as I can tell, my Dad is a Christian and my Mom is not. And I have had many conversations with my dad and have found out that when he is doing things that bring him closer to Christ, there is LESS peace with his relationship with my mom.
    So all that to say, I think Jesus knew how much His name alone would divide people and will continue to divide people until the end of time and that is what He is speaking toward here. That our full commitment to Him will often (at least initially) negatively alter some of our relationships here on earth. And that despite the hardships we will face, in the context of these relationships, that we still must commit to Him over everyone/everything else.

  2. I wonder if also, even in the smaller context – Jesus wanted to point out that our love, loyalty, even our worship needed to be directed to Him. Even in this area of our lives. If our faith causes us to break a command of ‘obeying our parents’ then God wins in that situation. He takes first precedence. In that, we cannot put our relationships with others above our relationship with God. If we are doing so, our lives cannot be an act of living worship.
    Yes we are called to love others, but loving others includes sharing the Truth with them and serving them. So – as Danny said, the Truth may divide, but if it’s a choice between our family & the Truth, we must choose the Truth. So to repeat Danny again, Jesus took the opportunity to forewarn us, belief in His Truth could very well be the death of our earthly relationships. (Ironically Jesus had times when His family couldn’t understand what was going on in His head… and they knew he was the Son of God.)

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