Monday after Exaudi
Scripture: St. John 10:17-21 (NKJV)
17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” 19 Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. 20 And many of them said, “He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?” 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
“Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings.”
It is a common misconception that Jesus’ teaching will bring a visible, outward sort of “peace on earth.” His Word causes division in this world because this world is broken by sin. It is unrealistic to assume that our Lord’s will always bring agreement, because that assumption overlooks the reality of sin and selfishness in the world.
Christ, the Good Shepherd, does seek to gather His lambs into one flock around the singular voice of His holy Word. But that is not the same as “world peace.” As long as there is sin in the world there will always be people who resist the Holy Spirit and ignore His true understanding of Christ’s voice. And sin will not be completely gone until our Lord comes again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and bring us to life everlasting.
In the meantime, we are simply called to be faithful according to His Word and Spirit, and show forth His righteousness in the world. True peace is not primarily an outward state; it is the state of being at peace with God, oneself, and one’s neighbor according to the forgiveness that He gives us in the Gospel of Christ, and according to the love that we are taught in the Ten Commandments. And the fullness of that peace does not always result in outward unity, but is still the most important peace that we can know in this present life, because it is the true peace that God gives us in Jesus Christ.
We pray: Lord God, let Your holy peace be with us always, according to Your Word and Your Sacraments, where we find the only source of that peace in Christ Jesus. In His Name. Amen.