The Peace That The Sword Divides
Posted on October 6, 2021 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
“Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three.”
Luke 12:51-52 (NKJV)
I think one of the scariest moments of Jesus’ ministry here on earth is when He tells the multitudes that He has brought division. When we see what is happening in the world around us, we are all aghast that nobody seemingly can get along with each other and we cry for unity. We might even be hearing that same cry for unity coming from our pulpits in churches, after all, we are all supposed to be unified as THE body of Christ.
But ain’t it funny that Jesus, Himself, tells us in Luke 12, “I didn’t come to bring you peace, but a Claymore so you all can be divided up and set against each other. So, let’s get to separating the sheep from goats, shall we?” (Implied)
However, ya gotta take the full essence of the text we’re seeing here in Luke 12. This chapter seems to be the “Be on your guard” kinda chapter because it’s full of stuff that Jesus will warn the people about. “Beware of the leaven of Pharisees”, “But I warn you whom to fear”, “be on your guard against every form of greed”, are just a few examples He’ll give. It’s after Jesus shares about the need for faithfulness and obedience as disciples (Luke 12:35-48) that Jesus will share His purpose for coming to earth.
“I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished.”
Now, I bet nobody in the crowd that day saw that one coming, but it doesn’t stop there. Jesus will echo something that the prophet Micah stated centuries earlier (see Micah 7:5-6) when Micah looked forward to the day of Israel’s deliverance. Jesus will tell them they will be divided against each other and as Matthew Henry puts it, “We should be zealous in making known the truth, for though divisions will be stirred up, and a man’s own household may be his foes, yet sinners will be converted, and God will be glorified.”
In other words, God’s plan of salvation is gonna go forward with or without you because Elohim desires to be reconciled with His creation through Jesus Christ, and the truth of His teachings. So, the truth of the matter, and Jesus already knows this, is not everyone is gonna be on board with what it takes to be saved and arguments will occur because of it. Maybe it’s in this that the apostle Paul will remind us, “If it is possible, as much depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:18) Yeah, easier typed than done, I gotcha.
So many of us expected that a life with Christ would bring peace and harmony but that’s where we make our mistake. Your life isn’t tagging along with Christ, your life should be IN Christ, that’s if you’re gonna make the claim and name the Name. Peace, and the harmony that it brings, is definitely a side effect of your life in Christ but being in Christ means we go through the purifying by fire and the cleansing of baptism (aka foot washing see John 13). Ain’t no growth if your life is all joy without the strife that goes along with it. Faith has gotta get tested and tempered…just as a sword does.
If we were to go back into what Micah 7:9 says, “I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against Him until He pleads my case and executes justice for me. He will bring me forth to the light; I will see His righteousness”, you can sense that Micah is content in knowing that whatever God’s judgment is (like watching your friends being carried away by the Assyrian Army) deliverance isn’t too far behind. So, don’t just look to Him, look for Him.
You woulda thought that when Messiah showed up, those wacky Pharisees would have said to themselves, “Emmanuel, God with us” because they were beyond versed in Scripture but they didn’t even catch on when Jesus echoed Micah. Instead, they chose to divide the people their own way and made things even more confusing than they were. But God’s people don’t serve a God of confusion and the Pharisees would soon find out who it is that does the dividing.
This is one of those moments in Scripture where we shouldn’t oversimplify Jesus’ message. Jesus brings peace and harmony but He may also put brother against brother living in the same household. Don’t get me wrong, Jesus is about family, but when family becomes idolatry, it’s time to slice-n-dice where everyone stands. So chose today who you will serve. As for me and my house…ah you guys know the rest. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a husband, a father, has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: 14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. -2 Corinthians 5:14-15