The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 128

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth: I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to part asunder a man from his father, and a daughter from her mother, and a newly married wife from her mother-in-law - and a man’s foes will be they of his own household”. [Matt.10 34-36, AMP Bible]

Isaiah prophesied about Christ: “…..the Prince of peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end” (Is. 9: 6, 7). Jesus himself said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. I do not give as the world gives” (Jn.14:27). So Jesus’ words here present us with two diametrically opposing objects of His mission. Why the contradiction? Was his mission to bring peace or war?

Let me begin by telling you that there are numerous such apparent ‘contradictions’ in the Bible. Note the word apparent. That is, at first glance they appear to be, but on closer examination, are discovered not to be contradictions. Contradictions bring confusion and doubt about the nature of God. A wicked unbelieving world constantly challenges God’s goodness and presents Him as a vengeful, uncaring God. In the wake of the recent tsunami devastation, the ever increasing global warfare, the terrible evils being perpetrated on innocent people (genocides, pedophilia etc) the deceiver of old raises the question in the minds of Christians and non-Christians alike: “Why does God permit all this?” It is not the question itself that worries me, because I can answer it satisfactorily. What disturbs me is the underlying, subtle implication that God cannot therefore be a good and loving God! It’s the same old lie - just packaged differently by the same devil!

So, did Jesus come to bring peace or to bring division? The answer is simple. Jesus’ object in coming to earth was to bring peace between man and God. This peace (reconciliation, at-one-ness) with God he obtained by paying the penalty for sin on our behalf. When the angels sang “peace on earth and goodwill towards men” this is the peace they sang about. It is not ‘world peace’ through peace treaties and cessation of wars! Evil will continue to exist in the world (until Jesus returns to establish his kingdom) because it will not accept the terms of His peace.

His coming to bring a sword, not peace means that the way he was advocating could not possibly be disseminated (spoken about) without awakening the fierce antagonism of everything impure and evil. Strife, division, and bitter conflicts would therefore be unavoidable. The surgeon’s objective in amputating a diseased limb is to preserve life; yet pain is an incidental evil. Similarly, the grand objective of Jesus’ mission on earth, despite conflict, is nevertheless holiness and peace.

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues