Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to “Set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.” 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. (Matthew 10:34-37)
The Prince Of Peace Brings Division
Isaiah the prophet speaks of the messianic promise of a child to be born who would be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. When the angels announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds, they proclaimed glory to God in the highest and on earth peace toward men. Peter calls Jesus the Prince of life after healing the lame man at the Temple. The early disciples preached the gospel of peace through Jesus Christ. Everything about the life of Jesus is the peace that comes from the grace of God to sinful men. Through the mercy and love of God, salvation and hope are found in a peace passing understanding where men find their sins washed away in the blood of Christ. Preaching the message of peace from the Prince of peace is a fundamental teaching of Jesus Christ.
A sword is an instrument of death. When Jesus sends out His twelve apostles, He instructs them to preach the kingdom of God, heal the sick and cast out the demons. Their work will be characterized by frugality and persecution. It will not be an easy work. There will be hardships from those who will not receive the teachings of Christ. Jesus reminds the twelve the work of God is fraught with danger. The message is peace, but the message is filled with controversy. Jesus did not come to bring peace to the world but to divide the world. Sending a sword is the same as producing hostility and war. When the twelve preach the gospel of the heavenly Father, the message will strike at the heart of sinful men. It will produce division and controversy. Jesus tells the twelve He did not come to make everyone happy. His message would be a violent answer to the darkness that filled the hearts of men.
Preaching Christ brings division so deep it can separate families. Jesus clearly defines the terms of obedience that a man’s enemy will be in his own household! A son will be at odds with his father and a daughter will oppose her mother. Marriages will be challenged as in-laws fight against their children and their mates and with one another. Jesus brings a sword into the family and when the gospel is not accepted as true within the family element, division occurs. A sword is not an instrument of peace but war. There are severe consequences to the impact of a sword being brought into the family. The sword is the word of God. It is sharper than any two-edged sword and will cause division in the family. The Prince of peace brings a sword.
God has always required and demanded first place and this comes at no exception. Loving father or mother more than the will of God is not acceptable. Jesus teaches that no man can be worthy of being His disciple if he or she is not willing to go against their parents, their husband or wife and even their children. Authority comes from God, not parents. Salvation is not found in the family relationship but in the grace of God. God created and ordained the family and demands respect and honor be given to parents. That respect is limited. Obedience begins with God and there can be no greater allegiance. If a man follows the will of his father or mother in conflict with the word of God, he cannot be a disciple of Christ. The sword the Prince of peace brings is a sword of division that requires full devotion. Do not think Jesus came to bring peace on earth. He came to bring a sword – even in the family. Contrary to popular myth, water is thicker than blood.