Summary: Peace, conflice, salvation, war
I DIDN'T COME TO BRING PEACE
Luke 12:49-53 (p 738) Aug. 1, 2010
I was playing this picture game the other day with one of my grandchildren. It said, "One of these things is not like the others". And since it was on the level of a two year old it was pretty easy to identify that the apple was distinctly different than the three oranges.
But if I listed the names: Adolph Hitler, Genghis Khan, Joseph Stalin, Alexander the Great, and Jesus of Nazareth. You would automatically say… Wow….all these men are leaders, three, but Jesus is distinctly different. The first leaders were violent and blood thirsty, they were power hungry men of war. But Jesus is the opposite of those men He is peaceful and gentle. He is loving and compassionate. It doesn't even seem appropriate to put Jesus picture in the same game as these other men.
Unless there is an element to the ministry and life of Jesus that we understandably neglect. Unless Jesus came to earth for much more than peace. Unless in some ways, Jesus is more like a general than a teacher.
(Read text) Luke 12: 49-53 (p.738)
I have to tell you that at times people say, "That is the best sermon you've ever preached". And my response as "Thank you, but maybe it has more to do with where your at in hearing it, than where I'm at when preaching it.
And sometimes that has a lot to do with how we identify Jesus. He is the Great Physician when we're spiritually hungry. He is the prince of peace when we're caught in the midst of a storm. Through the Old Testament and New Testament he is called everything from Savior, to Brother to King, to the suffering servant. In reality we tend to see Jesus in the way that is most meaningful to us…and sometimes to us at a particular moment.
It's no wonder that we neglect seeing Jesus as
I THE PRINCE OF WAR
[My favorite movie of all time is "Saving Private Ryan" the opening battle scene is overwhelming graphic…not something we would linked as an image of Christ. At 6:30 a.m. on June 6, 1944 a landing craft makes it way to Omaha beach as bullets from German machine guns whiz by U.S. soldiers. There is death and confusion everywhere as many abandon their boats only to be dragged down as the heavy equipment they carry. The sound of war is unimaginable to those who have not experienced it.]
We do not often refer to Jesus in the context of war. In our prayers we do not address Him as general or warrior. Maybe this is because, even when war is necessary, we see Jesus only as the Prince of peace.
And the truth is there are many verses in the Bible that highlight the peace that comes from Jesus
Romans 5: 1-2
Romans 8: 38-39
as one of my favorites Phil 4: 6 "Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with Thanksgiving, let your request be made know to God, And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
It's clear from these scriptures that Jesus is the bringer of peace; we don't think of Him as the bringer of war.
But when you look at other passages…like our text -
Maybe we've missed part of his real mission. In these passages Jesus seems to almost thumb his nose at any kind of peaceful picture of Himself. Not only that He seems to be directly saying "I did not come to bring people together but possible to even break apart the closest of human relationships."
If we put ourselves in the shoes of Jesus...1st century audience. or sandals as the case may be…there are 3 things to keep in mind…1st Jesus is speaking to a predominately Jewish audience…It wasn't until after the death, burial and resurrection that the gospel officially spread beyond the Jewish culture.
In fact much of the book of Acts involved the Apostles making this huge realization that salvation wasn't for the Jews alone…coming to grips with that single decision required Apostolic dreams, miracles, conflicts, and a new famous leadership council.
Next we need to understand that Jesus - words about family would have been particularly tough for this Jewish audience...Jewish culture was built on the foundation of family and tradition…People did not change classes or lifestyles…a fisherman was born into a fisherman's family…lived a fisherman's life and died a fisherman after raising fisherman children. Divorce was a life and death matter and the community shunned those who broke that bond.
But the final, most important thing to remember about this audience was they categourally believed "there is only one God". Anyone who claimed equality with God was a "Blasphemer", to be punished by death. This is why Jesus message was so divisive. To 1st century Jewish ears, he was the worst of heathens, offensive to the very core of their history and their identity…that is unless what he was saying was true. Then he was actually "Messiah" Savior.