Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Peace on Earth? Was that the reason for Jesus?

With the birth of Jesus the angels sang of his purpose! What was to be the result of Jesus' coming?

Luke 2:11 "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
Jesus was born to 1) glorify God, 2) bring peace on earth and 3) and for people to love one another. Glorifying God and loving one another are "The Greatest Commandment and the One Like Unto It": Love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. When Jesus "glorified God" he revealed himself as God! What about bringing peace on earth?

Jesus commented on that!
Luke 13:51 "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: 52 For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law."
Both of these declarations are from Luke, the good doctor: "peace on earth" and "bring division". Does Luke contradict Jesus' ministry in his own writings? No! The latter is a "hard saying". It's toughlove.  Jesus was distressed that when he spoke truth, that truth creates disunity!

When there is a lack of unity, there is war! Jesus speaks of the war between individuals, but by extension, we know that nations war because they disagree. Right now the Muslim nations and the Christianity-based nations are fighting all over the world. It's because they disagree about Jesus!  If Islam taught about Jesus in the same way that Christianity teaches, there would be little room for dissension. We would indeed have "peace on earth"!

If Roman Catholics and the reformers had the same interpretation of Holy Scripture, there would have been no persecution by the church. If the Reformed Church (Protestants) had the same view of Jesus as did the Anglicans there would have been no dissension between them. Wars were fought Christian against Christian because doctrine was different. Doctrine is how people interpret truth.

Jesus came to teach "right doctrine". Some adhered to tradition. They were influenced by Judaism (The Law) and paganism. In Luke 13:52-53 we see that even families will be divided... and they have been! Some hang onto paganism, others tradition and others contemporary worship. Someone is right and someone is wrong! War results in disagreement. In the case of which Jesus was speaking, family members were going to war with each other. Why? Because some reject "truth" and others fail to see "real truth".

Jesus knew that he would be the source of dissension, even war among people! However, the angels sang of the "peace on earth" because of Jesus! Who's wrong? Neither. There is another type of war of which the angels knew.
Ephesians 6:12 "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
There is a war and that war is within each one of us. In everything we do there is a battle waging. Even the wicked know that what they do is wrong! Evil people do wrong on purpose. They weigh the trade-off and take the road paved with pleasure, power and wealth. When sinners sin, it's always a choice. When those choices are weighed a "principality" (an evil force or fallen angel) persuades the person to sin. People are always at war with invisible powers because they just won't give up!
John 16:33 (ESV) "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Jesus is speaking of "inner peace".  Although there are battles going on within us (tribulation) we are to "take heart" because in him "you may have peace". If we are "born-again" we are new creatures. As a new creature we are able to defeat our inner demons, because God's Holy Spirit fills the space originally holding the spirit of the Prince of the Air (the devil). Evil is defeated when the Holy Spirit dwells within us. We're no longer alone fighting a spiritual war. God provides full-armor to defeat evil. Christians, thanks to Jesus' death in our place,  are victors. Jesus is our King and with the King we have security and serenity. We don't worry about the things of this world because it's no  longer our home! Because Jesus was resurrected we will also be! Our hope lies in Jesus and hope leads to inner peace!

The angels rightfully sung of "on earth peace", but it was a different peace of which they were singing!
 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (ESV) "Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all."
This is the peace which Jesus brought! It's himself. The Lord of peace passes on to his followers the same peace which he has!  He gives us peace at all times, in every way and with all his disciples! That promise of peace brings serenity and that's the peace of which the angels sang!

As we will always have the poor, so too will we always have war! Although war is futile peace on earth is an effort in futility. We will have war, and it will get worse, until Jesus comes to reign!

Jesus came then to 1) glorify God (show God to the world), 2) provide inner peace through the Holy Spirit and 3) to love others. Now, that's what Luke was talking about! War is a consequence of truth because most refuse what Jesus had to say!

So Jesus didn't come to "bring peace on earth". He came to bring "peace to us while we're on earth"!

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