“The Division Within”
“How can this be? Isn’t Jesus the Prince of Peace? Didn’t Jesus say to His disciples, “go in peace” and again He said “peace I leave you and peace I give unto you”? Now Jesus is saying I come not to bring peace? What’s going on here?”
Well I am glad you asked. The whole 12th chapter of Luke is about discipleship. Jesus is teaching the masses about what it really means to be a disciple. He is also warning His disciples of what will happen to them once they go out and start serving Jesus truthfully and faithfully.
He starts out in verses 1-3 saying that the hypocrisy that has blinded them in the past will eventually be seen. In verses 4-11, a true disciple isn’t worried about what people may do to them, because even if they kill us that’s all they can do.
And we don’t have to worry about what we are going to say when we get in front of the powers that be, because the Holy Spirit will give us the right things to say.
He goes on to tell the disciples in verses 22-34, “don’t worry about what you are going to eat or what you are going to wear, your Father in heaven will take care of all those needs. The same God who protects the birds of the air, the same God who takes care of the grass in the field will also take good care of you”.
He warns the disciples in verses 35-48 to be on the lookout for the Lord’s return. Be ready for the Day of the Lord. Be on guard because you don’t know the day or the hour when the Lord is coming so keep on watching and serving the Lord, so when that day comes, you too can be happy. For you see, everybody won’t be happy on the day of the Lord.
This leads up to our text this week. Jesus drops a bomb on them and tells them “I have not come to bring peace, but strife and division on the earth.” First of all Jesus does bring peace, but not a false peace. Jesus wants to give us real peace and just because everything is seemly going our way, doesn’t mean that we have real peace.
To find peace, “we must meet the conditions of peace”. This is why Jesus brings the fire. In verse 49 Jesus says, “I have come to bring fire on the earth”. This is a refining fire that Jesus is talking about. You see, when you get hooked up to Jesus, all the stuff that held you back in the past, the refining fire is there to burn it out of you.
All that pride, that envy, that jealously, that false ego and self-esteem, all that bitterness, all that hatred, all that selfishness, all the stuff that’s holding you back from a true relationship with God, must be burnt out of you.