How did Christ that loves peace and is the prince of peace say ” Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. “For I have come to set a man against his father ” (Matt. 10:34- 35)?
He meant the sword that befell the believers (Christians) because of their faith.
In fact the start of Christianity incited the sword of the Roman empire, the Jews and the pagan philosophers against the believers. The saying of the Lord “They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.” (John 16:2) was fulfilled. The martyrdom era which lasted till the reign of Constantine is a proof for that.
There was also the division that happened between the members of the family because of the faith of some members while the others remained unbelievers.
For example, a son would believe in Christianity, so his father opposed him; or a daughter believed then her mother antagonised her. This way the division finds its way to the family between those who accepted the faith and those family members who opposed it, as the Bible said “Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in- law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” (Luke 12:53).
Often the believer was faced with a tense pressure, even fight from his household members to forsake his faith. Therefore, the Lord continued his warning “and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ “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. ” (Matt.10:36-37).
He spoke about the sword against the faith not the sword in the public relations.
Therefore, His saying “I did not come to bring peace but a sword” was directly followed by His saying “But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 10:33)
The sword can be an element in establishing and applying the. spiritual Christian ethics.
A division can occur between a religious girl and her mother about the subject of decency in clothing and make up. The same division can occur between a son and his father about the subject of serving the church or devoting one’s life to serving the Lord or about health and fasting, or many other sides of Christian behaviour and in all that, “A man’s foes will be those of his own household…” Of the normal relation between people, the Lord said in the sermon on the mount:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.” (Matt. 5:9).
The Lord Christ was called “Prince of Peace” (Is. 9:6). When the angels announced His birth they said “Peace on earth” (Luke 2:14). He said to His disciples “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27). The Bible says ” Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:18), and “The fruit of the Spirit is love, Joy, peace. (Gal. 5:22).