An interesting saying of Jesus was our topic this Sunday, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34) This really does not sound like “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” as the Gospel is often portrayed in our day. This saying of Jesus is recorded as He is instructing the 12 after their commissioning. He is sending them out to preach and heal and he tells them to expect great opposition as they do. We saw last week that Jesus’ ministry brought on the accusation from the religious leaders of the Jews that He had the power of the devil. Jesus begins his “pep talk” by saying to them, “If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household!” (Matthew 10:25)
The Gospel, if preached truly confronts people with their sin and is naturally offensive to them. It is a message of Good News yet it is most commonly rejected by people because the idea of reconciliation has in it by nature the idea of alienation. The need to be reconciled means that I have messed up somewhere in the past. This idea is odious to anyone who does not see themselves as sinful or sin as a big deal. What Jesus teaches His disciples should come as no surprise to us if we understand human nature and what the Bible says about it.
The important thing is to realize that Jesus did not say to them, if it gets tough just give up. He did not say, if someone offends you, smack them upside the head, belittle them, or talk about them rudely behind their backs. He said;
Matthew 10:26 “Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. 27 “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
That is, their issues with the Gospel are not your concern, just preach the Gospel that I have been sharing with you! Your fear of God should exceed your fear of man. If God has given you the charge of preaching a man has no authority to stop you. Do you fear men? Does what people think of you stop your mouth when it should be proclaiming the wonders of God’s grace and mercy to the people He has placed around you? We are called yo love and proclaim truth people whether they respond positively or not. If you think it is tough you should see what is going on in the rest of the world! Check out the Voice of the Martyrs Website to see what is happening all around the world.
If you know Christ as Savior then you are the means that He has chosen to reach the world with the message of the Gospel. Many people often say things like, “I wish so-and-so would get saved. He or she has such great influence and would be so useful to the church to reach people.” Think about it this way; if there are 300,000,000 people in the US and just 10% of them are truly saved people and if each of them were serious about sharing the Gospel a Billy Graham crusade would be peanuts to the influence of those people!
I want to challenge you today, if you know Jesus Christ and even begin to understand what He has done for you, though conflict is probably going to be the result, the command of Christ that He gave to His disciples is also pertinent to you.
Matthew 10:32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”
Whoever, not just the pastor or the apostle. It’s time to get busy!
You can listen to audio of this message by clicking the link below.
Not Peace, But A Sword – Matthew 10:34