I absolutely adore books. I’m one of those people who can shut the world out with every page I turn. I can truly get into the zone of reading where all I want to do is finish the book regardless of the hour of the day.
I’ve read all types of genres, from crime solving to girly fiction, but I remember the first time I dipped my toe into Christian authored books. It was a breath of invigorating fresh air with every page turn, proclaiming love, peace, and the spirit of the gospel.
Through my reading via books and bible scripture there was one particular verse that came back to me. It causes me a mixture of feelings.
‘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
My initial response was confusion!!! Jesus is the prince of peace, he utters the words “peace be with you” everyone at church shares the peace of the Lord!
I continued to read….
‘For I have come to turn‘“a man against his father,a daughter against her mother,a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.” ‘Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:34-39)
I was in denial…..there is no chance this is what Jesus said, Matthew must have misheard.
Oh how I was wrong!!!!
I’m blessed that God has a way of holding certain verses in my mind, they float around for a while and I think about them not really knowing why, but I wait, and they whisper back to me at the correct moment.
That moment occurred when I felt the sword of division that Jesus spoke of, it was sharp and it hurt. It sliced like a hot knife through butter and I was left as a melted pile on the floor.
God whispered the passage to me whilst in my state of shock, the sword now sliced through with clarity.
I understood what Jesus meant, he didn’t come to bring peace to his disciples, he changed their lives, and when we choose to follow Christ, it changes our lives and we ourselves are not guaranteed peace, but God knows that we stand with Christ. Our peace comes as a fruit from the spirit and the fruit we produce along our journey with Christ.
Lord Jesus, keep us close when we feel the sword of division that you bring,
give us the strength and courage to stand strong with you,
warm the hardened hearts of those who reject your call,
and open their eyes to your loving light.