Summary: The Prince of Peace has come to bring a sword and not peace to the earth. The Peace that He brings can only be experienced if we are covered by the Blood of the Lamb.
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Pastor James May
PRINCE OF PEACE INSTIGATES WAR
January 13, 2002
Matthew 10:34-39, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."
Only a few weeks ago we celebrated the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was give to us, to be our Savior, just as the Father had promised so long ago. The night of Jesus’ birth is filled with peaceful events and supernatural appearances of Holy Angels who proclaimed forth, just as did the Prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 9:6, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
In John 14:27, Jesus personally speaks these words to His disciples as He washed their feet and taught them at the Last Supper in the Upper Room, just hours before He was to be crucified, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
After looking at these instances and others where Jesus is not only called the Prince of Peace, but promises peace to everyone who will follow Him, why would He seemingly nullify His promises of peace to all men with the statements from our scripture portion in Matthew 10 that He is not come to send peace to the earth but to bring a sword?
The bringing of a sword always means that there will be arguing, fighting, hatred, variance, destruction and wars. Why would Jesus, the Prince of Peace, bring a sword to the earth?
First of all lets remind our selves of the circumstances and events that were occurring before, during and after the birth of Christ in Judea.
Israel and the Jews were under the oppression of the Roman Army and Caesar that had conquered them and set up their own rulers while allowing the Jews to have their own puppet government whose leadership consisted mostly of the High Priest and his subordinate priests of the Jewish Temple. These were the Pharisees and Sadducees of the Sanhedrin Council – those same people who tried, convicted and condemned Jesus in the most illegal trial in Jewish history.
All though the Old Testament and the books of the Law that were studied by the Jews prior to the writing of the New Testament, there were references to the coming of the Messiah, the Deliverer of Israel. The educated men of Israel knew every one of the promises and lived to see the day that their Messiah would come and free Israel from the bondage of slavery to a foreign power that now ruled over them.
They understood that this freedom not only included freedom from earthly oppression but that it would also mean a freedom to worship God without the interference of Roman Law or the critical eye of idolaters.
Oh how they longed for the day when the Messiah would come and set them free! How great was their oppression! How hard were the judgments of God against them for their sin and failure to serve the one true God in the first place!