Not a People Pleaser

15 Jan

I just read Matthew Ch. 10. Wow, do verses 34 – 36 stand out.

I did not come to bring peace, but a sword (Matthew 10:34 NIV).

That’s a statement we don’t talk about very much. Hey, isn’t Jesus supposed to be the Prince of Peace? Seems contradicting…..

It’s not. Context is everything.

Jesus is prepping his disciples. He’s just been filled with compassion at the crowds of people who don’t have truth, don’t have guidance. They’re like lost sheep (see the end of Matthew Chapter 9). He tells the disciples to pray for more workers to do God’s work.

Open scene to Chapter 10, guess what disciples? You’re more workers. Jesus gives them authority, instructions on who to go to, what to say. He even tells them what not to take.

The instructions also include encouragement, motivation and setting expectations. “You’ll be pursued by men, arrested, and divide households.”

So in verse 34, here’s what I see. Jesus tells his guys (his 12 disciples), “Don’t think I came to make everything all flowery and nice. Folks aren’t going to hug and kiss over this message. Don’t expect that. I came for the agenda to separate. Separate those who will accept God and his kingdom, his authority above the world and those who will not. I’m here with a sword – a truth to be dealt with” (obviously, this is my modern-day paraphrasing).

This truth does offer peace between each individual and God. But the message that delivers it, the One that delivers it, also brings division between people. Deal with Christ, deal with the reality of God — above, over and in spite of any family member – child, parent or even yourself for that matter.

Can you have peace through Christ? Oh yeah. But you have to deal with the message to get there. And it’s not dependent on other people. It lies in Christ alone. Mano e mano – you and God.

Today’s Passages: Genesis 31:17 – 32:12; Matthew 10:26 – 11:6; Psalms 13: 1 – 6; Proverbs 3: 16 – 18

Saturday’s Passages: Genesis 32:13 – 34:31; Matthew 11:7 – 30; Psalms 14: 1 – 7; Proverbs 3: 19 – 20

Sunday’s Passages: Genesis 35:1 – 36:43; Matthew 12: 1 – 21; Psalms 15: 1 – 5; Proverbs 3: 21 – 26

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