[not peace but sword]
I am 28. I have been going to Church and being a geek there since I was 6.
In those 22 years I haven’t understood what on earth did Jesus mean by “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34, NLT)
Jesus, the one who was always so peaceful, humble, and submissive to the point of death… The one who rebuked Peter when the latter stroke Malcheus’ ear with a sword. The one who spoke about turning the other cheek.
I came to bring not peace, but a sword.
To be honest, this was one of the passages that I was most uncomfortable with. I don’t like violence and it simply did not seem logical. Sword? But I thought Jesus wanted his followers to show the world a different way of life.
Today, thanks to Ted Dekker’s new book A.D. 30 (which I was lucky to get before it was published, for review), it dawned on me. (Possibly, I am the only slow one and my discovery was known for a long time by everyone else.)
The master had indeed come to bring a sword, but that sword would be wielded by those who would take it up in anger. They would be angry because his way of love and forgiveness was threatening to those who did not embrace it. His way would divide even brother from sister, daughter from father.
Christianity certainly caused many disputes and even wars. Sometimes it was the hot-headed Christians who thought they were doing a good thing (like Saul when he was chasing Jesus’ followers, thinking he’s serving God that way). Often, the Christians were (and, unfortunately, still are these days) victims.
Now that I am thinking about it… it seems so plain. That was the sword Jesus was talking about – not a sword that His followers had to pick up, but the sword of persecution they would have to withstand.
Interesting, how you can read the Bible so often and yet with each reading, new insights are gained.