“Do not think that I have come to bring peace on the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword [of division between belief and unbelief]. 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 man’s enemies will be the members of his [own] household [when one believes and another does not]. “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. And he who does not take his cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me] is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his life [in this world] will [eventually] lose it [through death], and whoever loses his life [in this world] for My sake will find it [that is, life with Me for all eternity].
Matthew 10:34-39 AMP
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword…” At first, one may think upon reading this, “Wow. Jesus is the problem. He brought division, arguments, riots, and suffering into this world. His presence pitts family members against one another.” But this is not the message of the above passage. Not the message at all.
Jesus proclaimed, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6). Isaiah foretold Him as “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end…” (Isaiah 9:6-7a). John declared, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Hebrews 13:8 reminds us Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
So knowing all this, here’s the point I see in the above passage: Jesus is not the problem; He’s the answer. How we receive Him is the problem.
Jesus is the answer to our sin, yet some of us choose to remain within sin’s grip.
Jesus came as a Light in the darkness, yet while some welcome the light, others cower in the darkness.
Jesus came as the Way, yet some insist on taking the broad path to destruction instead of the narrow road to life.
Jesus came as the Truth, yet while some rejoice in the truth, others reject it.
Jesus came as Life, yet while some embrace the eternal life, others only want to celebrate the here and now.
Jesus came as the Good Shepherd. Some hear His voice and follow, yet others hear and walk away.
Same Jesus. Same message. Yet opposing reactions. Division brought about by the Savior of the World. Not because Jesus is the problem. But because Jesus is the answer. I repeat: JESUS IS THE ANSWER.
Unfortunately, though, not everyone wants the answer. Not everyone likes the answer. So they reject it. They reject the very One who has the power to save them.
Which brings division. Which sets a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and creates enemies within households. Enemies by choice–the choice to choose death instead of life.
Therefore, today I would like to encourage you in two ways. First, please do not reject Jesus. Choose to follow Him the rest of your life. Choose to trust in the only one with the power to save. No, life won’t always be easy. Trials will come, and life won’t always go the way you want it to go. But you will have hope–a hope for eternity in heaven–a hope that will not disappoint.
Second, don’t take rejection personally. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost, but not everyone will choose Him. When someone comes against you for your faith, remind yourself they are not rejecting you; they are rejecting the one who saved you. They are rejecting Jesus. Remember the encouragement Jesus gave His disciples: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you (John 15:18-19 ESV).
As a believer, you are not of this world. Therefore, the world will not always understand. So take heart. Keep walking forward in faith. Keep pressing onward and upward knowing this: God will never leave you nor forsake you. Never. Though your own family turn away–though the world seem against you–the Lord will take you in, and the Lord will give you peace. For behold, God is with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).