“Do not think that I have come to bring peace on 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 man’s foes will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it. “He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me. He who receives a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.” (Matthew 11) 1 And when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities. (Matthew 10:34 – 11:1
Today’s scripture uses strong language to remind us of the continual battle in our world between good and evil.
Jesus told his disciples that he did not “come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34).
Jesus’ very mission was an act of war against the spiritual forces who oppose the kingdom of God and his rule over the earth. That is why He identified Satan as the ruler of this world whom he will cast out (John 12:31). The battle Jesus had in mind was not an earthly conflict between individuals and nations, but a spiritual warfare between the forces of Satan and the armies of heaven. He came to wage war against the spiritual powers of this present world that turn the minds and hearts of people away from God and his kingdom of joy, peace, and goodness.
In waging thar battle, we are set free to love God with boundless mercy, compassion and goodness.
That is how we are called to live our lives. At times, we will be set apart because of our beliefs. But we must live our life by being authentic to the life and message of Jesus.
If a family member has hurt us, if an associate has treated us unfairly, we must be those who believe that feeding our anger and looking for ways to get even will not help us but hurt us. True power is not striking back but beginning the journey to forgiveness. Violent words and actions will only harden our pain.
His words speak to the condition of our world today especially in the United States We are a divided country. We vehemently disagree with one another. But it is in the midst of such divisions that that we as followers of Jesus must take out stand against violence. We must be the ones who say to our fellow Americans that if we continue to dismiss one another, we will in time attack one another. If we continue to demonize one another, we will eventually assault one another. If we continue to feed our anger against each other, the day will come when that anger will devour us all.
We need to remember that while we may label our beliefs in terms of a party, but first and always we are followers of Jesus. Yes, we deeply believe that our positions are right, but we also have a commitment to the Prince of Peace.
There is no other way to live our lives except as people whose words, actions and thoughts are defined by their love of Jesus Christ. No party, no person, nothing else in the world should ever separate us from that.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has conceived the things you have prepared for those who love you. Set us ablaze with the fire of the Holy Spirit, that we may love you in and above all things and so receive the rewards you have promised us through Christ our Lord. “ (from A Christian’s Prayer Book)
True love for God compels us to express charity towards our neighbor who is created in the image and likeness of God. Jesus declared that any kindness shown and any help given to the people of Christ will not go unrewarded. Jesus never refused to give to anyone in need who asked for his help. As his disciples we are called to be kind and generous as he is. Jesus sets before his disciples the one goal in life that is worth any sacrifice and that goal is the will of God which leads to everlasting life, peace, and joy with God.