Summary: Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He is described that way prophetically in Isaiah 9:6. He gives us the peace that surpasses understanding [Philippians 4:7]. However, we must understand that being His disciple will not always be a peaceful life.
NOT PEACE, BUT A SWORD
1. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He is described that way prophetically in Isaiah 9:6. He gives us the peace that surpasses understanding [Philippians 4:7]. However, we must understand that being His disciple will not always be a peaceful life.
2. Tonight’s text comes from Matthew 10:34-39 (NKJV) "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 "For I have come to ’set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 "and ’a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 "He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
I. THE PRINCE OF PEACE CAME TO BRING CONFLICT ON THE EARTH.
A. We are to be soldiers in the Lord’s army [2 Timothy 2:3 (NKJV) You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.] It is a soldier’s job to fight. We must be willing to "wage the good warfare" [1 Timothy 1:18].
B. Faithful disciples are engaged in an ongoing warfare with the forces of darkness.
1. The American people have been told that we are now in a war against terrorism that we should not expect to be over any time in the foreseeable future. We will have enemies in the world and we will have to be prepared to deal with them at home and abroad.
2. It’s the same way in the Christian’s war against Satan and the forces of evil in the world. [Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.]
a. War between morality and immorality
b. War between truth and error
c. War between God’s will and Satan’s devices
3. Christians must expect opposition. Something is wrong with us if we do not encounter resistance from the other side. [Luke 6:26 (NKJV) Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their fathers to the false prophets.]
II. THE MODEL OF FAMILY LOVE MAKES ENEMIES WITHIN HOUSEHOLDS.
A. Christ’s love for the church gives us a pattern for the way a husband should love his wife [Ephesians 5:25]. If we follow Christ’s teachings, we have a perfect recipe for happiness in the home.
B. Yet Christ says that He came to set men against their fathers and daughters against their mothers. This is actually a quotation from the Old Testament prophet Micah who said in Micah 7:6 (NKJV), "For son dishonors father, Daughter rises against her mother, Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; A man’s enemies are the men of his own household."
1. Families often interfere with a person’s choice to follow Christ.
a. Parents object to children becoming Christians. This is especially difficult when the child is young and still lives at home and is dependent on parents for care and support.
b. Mates try to interfere with spouses’ faith
2. Hostility and mistreatment sometimes comes. Members of our own families may become our enemies because of Christ. It is so hard when young Christians are forced to choose between the Lord and loved ones in their own families.
C. When conflicts come, Christ must be first.
1. Love Him more than mother or father . . . else we are not worthy of Him [Matthew 10:37].
2. Love Him more than son or daughter . . . else we are not worthy of Him [Matthew 10:37].
3. To be worthy of Christ, we have to be willing to bear our crosses for Him. Jesus is speaking figuratively. He does not mean that we have to carry literal wooden crosses to Golgotha and be crucified for Him. (Although that was possible for those first century disciples and tradition says that some of the apostles were crucified because of their faith in Christ). Cross-bearing for us means enduring heavy burdens because of Christ.
a. Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV) "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
b. That is true with regard to the burden of sin. However, Jesus did not say that Christianity was without cost . . . or even that the price was small. Every Christian must pay a price to follow Jesus, but the price we pay is nothing in comparison with the cost Christ paid in purchasing the church with His blood [Acts 20:28].