Isn’t he the Prince of Peace?
Pastor Mark Jeske

Just when you think you’re starting to understand the Bible’s basic messages, you trip over something that upsets your whole mental equilibrium. For instance, is not Jesus the ultimate peace bringer? In the messianic age, will not the wolf live with the lamb (Isaiah 11:6)? Is not one of Jesus’ official titles the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6)? Did not Jesus come to reconcile us with God and with each other? Didn’t the Christmas angels proclaim “peace on earth” because of Christ’s birth?

Yes indeed to all of the above. But we must listen to all of God’s Word, not just the happy parts. It is a paradox that Jesus came also to do the opposite. He once told his disciples, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). Jesus could see ahead into human history, and he was honest enough to predict to his disciples that one of the sad results of their gospel proclamation would be a dividing of people.

Believers will suffer persecution, not only from hostile government forces but sometimes at the hands of family members or their own synagogues and churches. The great evangelist John Wesley famously remarked once that when the gospel is proclaimed clearly, it will either convert you or enrage you.

You can expect both outcomes when you speak the Word to those around you.


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