Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 19, 2017
By Tripp Prince
Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 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—a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:34-39
Do you ever struggle to make sense of the seemingly contradictory statements in the Bible? As we come out of the Christmas season, we have just spent several weeks being reminded of the peace that God has brought to the world through his son, Jesus. As the angels declared, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14) Now, we encounter that same babe in the manger saying, “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” What’s going on here?
I recently read an inspiring story about a doctor and triple amputee who suffered a terrible accident in college, losing one arm and both of his legs. As he retold his story, I was struck by the decisive decisions his doctors took in order to save his life. In order for his body to recover and be healed, violent and dramatic actions were required. If the limbs weren’t taken, he’d lose his life.
Sometimes the healing that we desperately need requires violent and decisive action.
Jesus is without question the Prince of Peace, yet for us to truly enter into his peace, we must allow him to free us from the sickness and injury that threatens our very life and existence. As Eugene Peterson puts it, “When Jesus said that he came to bring not peace but a sword he was talking of the peace that allows persons to vegetate in sins and the sword that separates us from them.”
The sword that Jesus carries is not meant for our destruction or harm but is meant for our good! It is a sword of healing and hope carried in the hands of a faithful and loving surgeon. Jesus the Great Physician looks upon his sick children with compassion and love, and he invites us to come to him and find healing for our wounds and rest for our souls. However, he reminds us that while it will bring the peace we long for, it will be painful and costly.
Sometimes for us to be healed from our sickness we must call out the dysfunction and brokenness within our own families. We must invite the Lord Jesus into the most intimate and vulnerable places within our relationships, and within our own hearts. When we do this, we find that there is no cost too high for the life that comes from following Jesus wherever he may lead!
PrayerFather, we come to you as sick and weary patients who are in need of your healing and hope. Renew us today by the gift of your healing touch, we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
ApplicationAre there things in your life that bring sickness and death that you still need to offer to the Lord and allow him to free you from so that you can be healed?
Related ReadingJohn 5:6; James 5:16; 1 Peter 2:24
Post/Tweet todayChrist’s peace is costly and many times comes from traveling the path of pain. #WisdomHunters #God’speace
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