“You must not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a young wife against her mother-in-law; and a man will find his enemies under his own roof.” Matthew 10:34-36
This is a curious statement within the discourse where Jesus called his twelve disciples to himself before sending them out to spread the good news of His coming. This is a prophecy that has been fulfilled again and again during the two thousand years since Jesus uttered these, almost disturbing, words.
Do you know anyone whose marriage has been ruined because one spouse found themselves influenced by a controlling cult? During family gatherings do you have relatives who want to argue that their faith is the only true way? Is one Christian denomination at odds with another over specific doctrine? All of these, and at least a thousand other scenarios, is the sword of which Jesus spoke.
Hopefully Uncle Charlie will not take a knife to Aunt Mildred during Thanksgiving dinner conversation; however, the sword of which Jesus spoke is very real, and sometimes words can be just as damaging to relationships.
For the seeker who is picking their way through the dung of false teaching, it is sometimes difficult to remain silent when those around us are also wrestling with the truth. The seeker is always yearning to find that diamond in the dung heap, but often times, this is where the truth is found; just a speck, but shining and glistening. Yet, aside from Jesus, we are all a work in progress. If any one of us had all the right answers, that person may as well be elevated to the level of saint.
As the seeker communicates with other seekers, there may be a chafing and a mincing as they try to relate their truth to each other. Yet each seeker is valid, and each seeker is, just like everybody else, searching for the truth.
Jesus did not convey a spirit of patience in his discourse. I believe his warning was meant to assist his disciples and give them a foretaste of what to expect as they journeyed far from Jesus and far from each other in their quest to enlighten the world.
However, I would add, as the sword of truth is wielded, let us try to be kind and courteous to each other rather than rude and impatient. Let us not forget the message of love and assurance found in the remainder of the Gospels. And through our patience, there is a good chance other seekers will find their way, if not just a little at a time.