“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34)
This would be one of the effects of Jesus’ coming to this world. He would create division. He would challenge people to a new way of living and believing. He would clarify the way of God and the way of sinful humankind. He would irritate the world and its ways as He lifted up a new standard for living. Jesus would bring about tension and conflict by just being Himself, the Son of God, in the world. He would be a foreigner in the land of His own creating. That tension would lead to violence and His death on the Cross.
If Jesus came to bring a sword what about those who follow Him? Can we say we do not bring the same? Of course not. We too, throughout the generations, have brought discomfort to the world. We too, have challenged unbelief, disobedience and sin. We too have invited the wrath of the world. But unlike Jesus, we may cringe from our duty. We may draw back from a bold witness not wanting the wrath of the world to fall upon us. Yet, this is our lot if we are to be faithful to our Lord and Savior. We cannot be otherwise.
Heavenly Father, You started it all with the sending of Your Son. He has done His work of dividing, convicting and saving, and now we follow in His path. Help us be so bold as to take on the world’s ways and challenge them. Help us bring humankind back to You. Help us draw the sword of Law and Gospel. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.