By Brooke Holt
“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
Through the years, people have written many songs pertaining to peace. Among the most famous of those songs is “Imagine” by John Lennon. In it, Lennon calls us to imagine a world without religion, countries, and possessions. If we remove any reason to fight, then everyone can live together as one - his idealistic view of peace in the world. But is this truly the way to peace or even true peace?
Ironically, the word peace appears in the Bible 429 times (KJV). Jesus spoke words of peace to his disciples many times, especially after his resurrection. Isaiah prophesied that the coming Messiah would be the Prince of Peace: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). If Jesus is the Prince of Peace, wouldn’t he also be the means to bringing peace to people and to this world?
For the Christians, we answer with a resounding yes, so why did Jesus say he did not come to bring peace in this passage? Jesus knew his ministry and message would divide even the closest of relationships. For the Jewish nation, family was of the utmost importance. Always close-knit, they depended upon one another. Maintaining the family reputation held great significance as people were often known and even defined by their families.
Just imagine the upheaval it brought to a family when a Jewish person converted to Christianity while the rest of the family rejected Jesus. Where once a family had been bound together by their faith, they would face division and conflict as Matthew described in the passage above. Despite the breakup of family (which is grievous to the Lord), following Jesus must be the top priority of one’s life, even if it means he or she is severed from the family.
The Prince of Peace is not interested in superficial peace but ultimate peace. Jesus died to reconcile you to the Father. Ultimately, total peace will reign on the earth but not until Jesus returns and fully establishes his kingdom. We have no way to peace except through Jesus, and sometimes that way to peace comes first through turmoil and conflict.
Just imagine a world in which everyone acknowledges Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Imagine everyone living in perfect harmony under the Lordship of Christ. That peaceful world will come but not until Jesus Christ comes again. Until then, let’s keep our eyes and hearts set on the Prince of Peace.
Are you lacking peace in your life or relationships today? Bring those things to the Prince of Peace and ask for his wisdom and discernment to guide you. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Our honest prayer before God is evidence that we understand the ways He loves, cherishes, sees, and hears us. Through prayer, we can acknowledge with Hagar, “You are the living One who sees me” (Genesis 16:14). When we pray, we are affirming the same. Why do we often hide from this privilege? Why do we avoid God, the One who sees us as we are and stands ready to provide and answer us in his holy, timely way? In this 8-week study on the prayers of Job, Ruth, Hannah, and David, grow your prayer life by facing your honest need and bringing your whole self before God. Acknowledging God as the One who guides your path can change your heart. It can take you past fear and into faith, strength, and hope. Learn more about Honest Prayer.
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