Jesus says in Matthew 10:34-36 “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”.
Jesus was described in Isaiah 9:6 as the “Prince of Peace”. He was the one who said to his disciples in John 14:27 “Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” If you compare these verses, you might find them contrary in nature.
Is Jesus causing division as he said that I have come to bring a sword?
In order to understand what the Lord is saying to his Church through these verses, we should try to understand first How the Lord has defined Peace, Sword and Division in his Holy Word.
Peace as described in John14:27 is Jesus’ own peace which is different from the peace that this world gives. The peace that this world gives is conditional and dependent upon worldly possession and blessings. For instance, worldly people say that everything is at peace when their lives run smoothly, their children are in good jobs and are happily married, their grand children are obedient, they have good health, etc. The list is endless, if somehow one thing goes missing, the peace runs away from their lives.
The Peace that Jesus gives is unconditional, independent and permanent. It stays despite adverse situations and circumstances. Jesus’ peace fills the heart and mind of the believer with a special joy that comes out of him/her at a time when there is no reason to rejoice. It all happens so that the true nature of Jesus’ peace may be reflected to others and brings glory to the heavenly father.
Have you ever felt a very special peace in your heart despite storms in your life? Know that this is the same peace that Jesus offered to his disciples and is still inviting people to receive it.
Sword and Division: Jesus has indeed come with a sword to divide. The sword as described in Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and alive, sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Jesus is the word of most high God that became flesh. Being the WORD in FLESH, Jesus and the Word of God carry the same nature that is to penetrate and divide. Have you ever experienced being convicted after reading or hearing the word of God. That was the moment when the word was exercising its penetrating power to bring the thoughts or habits out of you that were blocking your closeness to God. Not only so, once you accept and submit to the penetrating process of the word, it is powerful enough to separate those thought/habits out of your life forever.
Jesus has indeed come with a sword to divide. Wherever Jesus is, there is light. In light things become clearer and show their true nature and colour. In a family, where Jesus comes, light appears and separation follows. In the same manner as father created light by his word and then separated light from darkness. This happens because not everyone accepts the Lord at the same time, as is written in John 1:11 “He came to his own but his own did not receive him.” That brings a great responsibility to those who have accepted Christ. John 1:5 says “Light shines in the darkness.” When God separated the light from darkness, he didn’t take the light away from darkness but left it to shine in the darkness, likewise those who have come to know the Lord should intercede for the other family members who have not yet received the Lord. If you are in a family where there are people who have not yet accepted the Lord, the Lord is speaking to you to SHINE EVEN THOUGH ITS HARD TO SHINE and pray so that the whole household may come to know the Lord.
Father, how deep are your thoughts and who has known your ways. Thank you my father that you have been made known to us by Jesus Christ, our sun of righteousness.