Opening Thoughts: Have you ever had a conversation with someone where you just know it isn’t going to end well? In fact it almost seems impossible that you’ll even come close to a peaceful resolve? I mean, it’s so bad that the only way you can properly release the tension is if one of the parties either changes their mind or someone gives in and goes along with the other way of thinking?
I think this situation is at its worst when it involves family. As Christians we need to be peacemakers right? I mean, is it not our duty to bring resolve to situations and not cause division? Yes it is, but not at the cost of the Gospel. Though we must be sure that our offenses are only for the sake of Christ and His gospel and not simply because we’re argumentative, or opinionated, or crass. Jesus came to bring division not Peace.
(Main Text) Luke 12:49-53 ESV .. “I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
Matthew 10:34-37 ESV .. “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
“No Peace, but Peace… I’m confused.” So does the Bible contradict itself? Doesn’t the Bible say in Luke 2 “Peace, good will toward men”? Well yes, kinda, what it actually translates to is Luke 2:14 ESV .. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” In other words this is not a type of worldly peace that so many often confuse it as, this is peace with God, as in we were once enemies separated from Him and subject to His coming wrath. So in Luke’s text when Jesus refers to the baptism He must face, which is causing Him excruciating distress, He’s referring to the wrath of God that will be poured out upon Him, the wrath that was actually reserved for us. Psalm 88:7 ESV .. Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves”. The peace God offered us was never meant to be understood as a worldly type of peace, especially between those who embrace the gospel and those who oppose it, but rather a raising of the ‘white flag‘ on our part in total surrender, and the conquering side (being Christ who conquered it all) treating His surrendered enemies as friends. Yes, instead of giving us what we deserved he offers us who were once at odds against His kingdom a peace treaty. One that was signed by the blood of the perfect Lamb, one that was nailed to the cross along with Jesus, a finished agreement with sin and death.
Not Peace of the World: This world will continue to be filled with conflict until the final day when the King returns igniting it with His fire. The conflicts that affect us every day should not be caused by us and our stubborn ways. We should seek to live peaceably with all men as Paul instructs us. But rest assured, as long as there are those who believe and follow the Gospel and those who rebel against its message there will be conflict and serious division even at the expense of families. The peace we must bring people is not that God is happy with them, because He’s not, but that God offers them a treaty through His Son Jesus Christ who happens to be the only man who ever pleased God the Father. It’s only through Him that there is Peace on Earth Good will toward Men.
John 14:27 ESV .. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Grace & Peace, Shane Martin
Preparing The Way