Listen:  146.2

Let’s read Matthew 10:34-36, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”  These words of the Lord may seem odd, particularly since the Lord Jesus is called the “Prince of peace” in Isaiah 9:6.  At the birth of Christ, the angels made an announcement to shepherds tending their sheep.  In Luke 2:14, we read where the angels said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”  Yet, here the Lord says that He did not come to send peace.

In a very touching scene, before leaving to go to the cross, the Lord gave His peace to His disciples as we read in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” 

Christ has indeed made peace as we see in Ephesians 2:14-17, “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.”  This is the peace with God that the Lord Jesus has bought for us by dying on the cross of Calvary. Romans 5:1tells us, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

To those who have put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have the peace of God as we see in Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

So, we must understand the words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 10:34-36in their proper context.  The lack of peace is the evident consequence of the Lord’s coming to the earth and being rejected.  The point the Lord is making here is that when people truly put their faith in Him and become His followers, most often they find rejection, ridicule and animosity by even their closest friends and family members.  Many times I have seen families divided when someone in the family becomes of follower of the Lord.  The wickedness of men, and not the truth of the gospel, is the cause of this hostility.  The Lord had previously stated in Matthew 10:21-22, “And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake…”  The reason for all this hatred and rejection was the love of God being offered to all men.  Isn’t it odd that pure love can produce hatred?  It was said prophetically of the Lord in Psalms 69:4, “They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.”  The Lord even told His disciples in John 15:18-19, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” 

There can be no peace on earth when the Prince of peace has been hated and rejected.  Even today, the Lord is still rejected by the world and there is no peace for the world.  However, to those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior, there is peace.  Even in the face of increasing hostility and rejection from the world, we have “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding.”  (146.2)