“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.
(Matthew 10:34-36 ESV)
It’s a common misconception that Jesus came to earth to bring peace. In fact, many critics of Christianity point to the lack of peace on earth as “proof” that Jesus was a hoax. Such critics clearly have never studied the Bible because in today’s passage Jesus makes it very clear that He did not come to bring peace to the earth. Instead He brought a sword.
First, notice that Jesus states that He came and that He came with a purpose. He didn’t say He was born for a purpose. He says He came – clearly stating that He existed outside of this world and entered into it intentionally and willingly.
Here we see another statement by Jesus that He was God. No sane human being would speak of himself this way. God created this world and entered into His own creation in the form of a human being named Jesus.
The message Jesus brought into the world was, and is, a very peaceful one. But ironically, and tragically, Jesus’ message of peace actually results in setting people against each other, including those in one’s own household.
The reason for this is simple. All that Jesus stood for and preached about is diametrically opposed to what the world stands for and preaches. God tells us the proper way to live and how to be blessed, as Jesus taught in the beatitudes [Matthew 5:3-11]. This includes being humble and selfless. But the world doesn’t want any part of that.
God tells us certain things are bad for us and will only cause problems. But the world ignores Him and thinks they know better. God says lying is a sin. The world says it’s just part of life. God says homosexuality is a sin. The world celebrates it. God says abortion is a sin. The world euphemizes it and calls it ‘health care’.
God is not out to harm us. He wants only good for us and tells us exactly how to get it [Jeremiah 29:11]. But we have the audacity to think we know better. We turn what God says is good into bad and what He says is bad into good. And then we wonder why there are so many problems on this earth.
As Jesus taught us recently, His truth cannot coexist with the world. We need to completely dump our worldly values and replace them with God’s if we want to see this world improve. But such a message will only be met with resistance by the world.
Those people who believe what God says and promote His truth therefore become the enemies of the world. The world’s response – which we’re seeing at a rapid rate right now – is to remove Jesus from culture. They think doing so will make the world better. They think they are promoting tolerance. But what they’re actually doing is sealing their, and future generations’, eternal fate in hell.
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