34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law--
36 a man's enemies will be the members of his own

Matt 10:34-36 (NIV)

In our verses for today our Lord warns His followers not to expect peace on this planet rather division. The harsh effect of preaching the Word and standing for the gospel of Truth is not the fault of the message or even the message bearer rather the hearers of it. The faith of the believer condemns those who do not believe therefore the non-believers have enmity against those who do believe. Light always exposes darkness.

“If you follow Christ, you shall have all the dogs of the world yelping at your heels. If you would live so as to stand the test of the last tribunal, depend upon it, the world will not speak well of you. He who has the friendship of the world is an enemy to God; but if you are true and faithful to the Most High, men will resent your unflinching fidelity, since it is a testimony against their iniquities. Fearless of all consequences, you must do the right...Better a brief warfare and eternal rest, than false peace and everlasting torment.” Charles H. Spurgeon

4 You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? James 4:4-5 (NIV)

Surely there remain few things harsher than for those who should be the closest to us to turn against us. When we are with those we love we should not have to fear being misunderstood or our words being misconstrued. These are those who should know and love us best consequently it is extremely hurtful to be shunned by them. When a believer discovers themselves sadly disowned by family for the sake of Christ, they should take solace in remembering that our Lord is the faithful friend who ever remains closer than a brother:

24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Prov 18:24 (NIV)

King David’s encouraging words regarding the Lord’s faithfulness found in Psalm 27 come to mind:

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. Psalms 27:1-3 (NIV)

10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. Psalms 27:10 (NIV)

Christ deals fairly with His followers here in telling us the worst we can meet with in His service in an effort to get is to consider the cost in our following Him. He does not desire for us to enter into His service flippantly rather He prepares us for what we will inevitably face. He never painted a picture for us that we would be carried to heaven in a bed of down as some presume. Trials, sufferings, abandonment, rejection, painful misunderstandings and the like are all crosses that Christians are often called to bear – just as our Savior did. Our Lord was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. Remembrance of the suffering Redeemer compels us to continue to labor in His cause – there are people yet to be saved – wandering sons and daughters who need brought home. This “little” rejection now will pale in the light of the Father’s smile.

“Dream not that worldlings will admire you, or that the more holy and the more Christ-like you are, the more peaceably people will act towards you. They prized not the polished gem, how should they value the jewel in the rough? ‘If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of His household?’...Far be it from us to seek a crown of honour where our Lord found a coronet of thorns...Never for fear of feeble man, restrain your witness.” Charles H. Spurgeon

What I Glean

  • Jesus warns me not to expect peace on this planet.
  • Light exposes darkness.
  • Jesus never forsakes me.