Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Not Peace, But Conflict
“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.” (Matthew 10:34-36)
Many believe Christ came to produce peace on earth. Jesus is very specific that he deliberately induced conflict between people, specifically within individual families. Luke 12:51-53 says almost the same thing. “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.”
“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.” (Matthew 10:37-38)
Today there are a large number of people who want to live with their girl or boyfriend but not get married because they are not willing to leave their parents. They don’t love their boy or girlfriend as much as they love their parents. The marriage is almost certain to fail because they will never give themselves fully to make it work. In the same way, anyone who is not willing to give up their relationship to their family doesn’t love the Lord enough to deserve him.
Because of this, Luke 14:26-27 says, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” The conflict forces one to choose between God and one’s family. If he is not willing to choose God over his family, he cannot be saved. Just as a man or woman would be foolish to marry a person who refuses to leave their parents, God would be foolish to take someone who doesn’t think he is more important than his family but it goes beyond just his family.
Luke 14:33 says, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” If there is anything else that matters more than God, the person cannot be saved either, whether it is a career, a sport or hobby, or an addiction. He must choose which is more important to him.
”He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 10:39)
The person who chooses the things he likes over God will ultimately lose everything in hell, but the person who chooses to give up those things will have eternal life, with all its attendant blessings.
God did promise peace, but it was not world peace. It is individual peace to those who believe and obey him. Romans 2:9-10 says, “Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.” Romans 15:13 promises that the peace will come through our faith by the power of the Holy Spirit. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
“He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:40-42)
Jesus had commanded his disciples to not provide extra clothing or food or money for their journey, but to trust God to supply for them. Here he makes it clear God will reward those who meet the needs of those who are serving him. They will receive the same reward as the person they help.