By David ReayTuesday 24 Dec 2019LifeWords Devotionals
“Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.” (NLT)
Jesus said lots of rather jarring things. The one who came to earth in Bethlehem was to fulfil a prophecy that he would be prince of peace. Even the angels at that time in Bethlehem spoke of peace. But after the Bethlehem baby grew up, he said things as reported in our text.
So which Jesus is the ‘right’ Jesus? The answer has to be, ‘both of them’. Jesus did come to offer peace with God and as a result the possibility of peace with others. But it was to be no easy or automatic peace. It wasn’t serenity based on placid external circumstances. It wasn’t a ‘sit back and relax’ sort of peace.
It was more to do with getting back on track with God our Maker. And for that peace to happen, people needed to realise they were on the wrong track in the first place. And that needed some uncomfortable change. In other words, the road to peace was not going to be peaceful. And besides, some didn’t want to change their ways in any case. So peace was rejected and conflict resulted.
The great peacemaker continues to offer peace. Those who accept the offer find peace with God even in the midst of external trouble. Those who reject the offer remain estranged. Peace is not imposed on us. And it is never peace at any price.
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