Saturday after the Transfiguration of our Lord
Scripture: St. Matthew 10:17—11:1 (NKJV)
10:17 “But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. 18 You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. 21 Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 24 A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household! 26 Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.
27 “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
40 “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”
11:1 Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities.
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.”
World peace will not happen as long as there is sin in the world. Selfish faithlessness fights against peace and harmony. Christ comes to bring peace to men, but for the whole world there will still be evil discord because the sinful hearts of men wage war against God and His righteousness.
It is a dangerous lie when people boast about peace and unity when there is none. And it is especially dangerous when this lie is spread among Christians to cover up the presence of poisonous false doctrine. Superficial peace is dangerous because it lulls people into a false sense of security. They can forget that the devil and his workers are constantly at war against Jesus Christ, and that Jesus Himself said He brings the sword. That sword is His Word. His true, uncompromised Word is the only thing that will bring peace among men.
His Law brings wisdom and repentance so that we can recognize the dangers of sin and flee from it by the power of His Spirit. His Gospel brings us the truth about our forgiveness in Jesus Christ and the life that comes to us through the faith that His Spirit works in us. With the sword of His Word He conquers sin, death, and the devil and gives us a peace with eternal significance. While world peace is a kind wish in the interest of loving our neighbors, we must help them to see the true peace in Christ first.
We pray: Lord God, heavenly Father, grant us Your Spirit so that we may know and seek true peace according to Your true and perfect Word in Jesus Christ. Amen.