Peace and the Sword
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. Matthew 10:34 NKJV
This is a difficult thing for us to understand. We always think of Jesus as the Prince of Peace, which He is, but we tend to apply that sense of peace to mean a lack of confrontation with other people. We seem to expect that because we walk through our life with Jesus that peace will then reign in our lives with others. It can then be frustrating when conflict arises, when others reject us, scorn us or mistreat us because of who we are in Jesus.
Jesus is the Prince of peace and the author of peace, but the peace of Jesus in this life refers to the peace that has been established through Him, between God the Father and man. Before Jesus there was separation between God and man because of sin. There was no peace. Jesus paying the price for our sins re-established that relationship with God the Father and man through Jesus. He is the Prince of Peace and that peace we enjoy through Him is the peace that we have with the Father. Now that peace also manifests itself in very real ways in our life. Because we have that peace with God the Father, we have all the fullness of the promises of Jesus in our lives. So we can actually find His peace in any situation.
However, the peace that comes with Jesus does not mean that we will have peace with others. On the contrary we will find opposition, disdain, rejection, mocking and out right confrontation. On the surface the confrontation may have nothing to do with our belief in Jesus, but that is the underlying cause of the confrontation from the world. The Spirit of Jesus in you makes those people of the world uncomfortable and they will reject you for obscure reasons. It is a spiritual response to what they cannot understand.
It can be something that we take personally but it is not a rejection of you per se, it is a rejection of Jesus that is in you. This is why Jesus said that He did not come to bring peace, but a sword. He brings the sword of separation which is the Word of God. It does separate and will even divide family members against one another. You may experience this and feel rejected but remember that it is nothing more than the sword of separation and while it is not always a comforting feeling for us, it is a powerful tool in their lives. You cannot always see the results but the sword of separation is always at work, and one day you will see the results.
You represent Jesus everywhere you go in life and sometimes those in the word see that as the sword of separation. It may not always feel comfortable, but it has a glorious return.
J Todd Hostetler