Jesus, the Prince of Peace, did not come to give peace. He came to cause division. Heresy, you say? Blasphemy? Yes, I agree this statement on the surface appears to fall in both categories. However, I can prove that the Prince of Peace came to cause division with His own words.
Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
I remember reading this verse years ago. My initial reaction to this verse was shock, followed by confusion. But if I were to be completely honest, I didn't dwell on it. I read it and kept on trucking in my belief in God. I can't say why that was my reaction... but that's my truth. Maybe it's because I blindly follow Christ. Or maybe it's because my experience of His love is too close to euphoria to turn away from it ... even if my source of elation causes division. Regardless of my reasoning behind my reaction, that was my reaction.
Then I came across this verse again this year. But this time, I didn't just accept it without giving it deep consideration. This time, despite the pure love I felt from Christ, I needed an explanation. Christ continues his stance in Luke 12:52-53. Jesus states that there will be five people in one house, but they would be divided. He stated the father would be against the son, and the daughter against the mother. The mother-in-law against the daughter-in-law and so on and so forth.
Then, Jesus goes on to talk about the weather...
Ugh, you're a bit off subject aren't you, Jesus? It seemed so random! Yet, He brought up the weather to illustrate that His audience were quite the hypocrites to be able to decipher the weather but unable to decipher the signs of the time. In the same spirit, I now understand that we are quite the hypocrites to call ourselves true followers of Christ and not understand that the Prince of Peace is also a God of Division.
It's quite obvious that Jesus comes to cause division. Because when it comes to believing in Christ, either you do or you do not. There is no gray area. In a family of five, if there is a mother who believes in Christ and a daughter who does not, then there will be division. And what will be considered the cause of the division? The belief or the disbelief of Jesus Christ. If it weren't for the belief or lack of belief, there would be no division.
This is why we tend to avoid the conversation of religion (and politics). We avoid it because it tends to be a source of conflict--- a source of division. But that's exactly what Christ said that it would be. So, why do we avoid it? We avoid it because we are doing all that we can to live peaceably among all men... which is also biblical. It's found right here in Romans 12:18.
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
However, it says "if it be possible". It is not always possible to live peaceably among men when it comes to following Christ. Because as a Christian, it is also our duty to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15). And if we spread the gospel to someone who does not believe it or is unwilling to accept it, there in will lie conflict. There will be division.
Yet, let's say you opt as a follower of Christ to avoid the conversation of the gospel to evade the inevitable division. It should be noted the line in the sand has been drawn, whether we talk about it or not. Ignoring the line in the sand doesn't mean it's not there. It just means you choose not to look at it. Whether you want to face the truth or not, the line in the sand between believers and unbelievers is there. There is division, and Jesus is the reason behind it.
So, why is Christ called the Prince of Peace if He comes to cause division? Why would God allow a house of loved ones to fall? Per Luke 11:17, a house divided against itself cannot stand. And if it cannot stand, then there is no peace. But Christ also said that he would give us peace in John 14.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I: give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Are you scratching your head yet?
It's okay if you are. Let me drive this home for you so you can go on about your day. The Prince of Peace is just that - The Prince and Giver of Peace. He does give peace. But the peace is left for those who believe in Him. John 14 also includes a number of verses that reveal the benefits of believers. John 14:3 states Christ goes and prepares a place for us. John 14:13 states whatsoever we shall ask in Jesus's name, He will do it, so long as it glorifies God. He's a giver of peace, blessings, and a prepared place in heaven for believers.
But He is also a divider. Christ said so Himself. He is simultaneously a God of Peace and a God of Division. This should not be too hard of a concept to grasp as we humans can be both peaceful to those who agree with us and yet separate ourselves from those who do not agree with us. We are also creatures of peace and creatures of division. And yet, this does not mean we are hypocrites. It just means we have boundaries. We have drawn our line in the sand... and so has God.
The line in the sand is there to distinguish the believers from the unbelievers. The tares and the wheat may grow together, but in the end, there must be a separation (Matthew 13). Indeed, Jesus came to cause division. This will not change. No matter how much we try to ignore the line in the sand, it is there.
So, since the line isn't going anywhere, I chose to look down at it. I need to ensure I am on the right side of the line so that I can be a beneficiary of believer benefits. It is up to us to decide where we will stand. But we have to make a choice. Again, there is no gray area. Either you believe or you don't. Gather your thoughts and your research and make a choice... and make it quick... for life is short and time is fleeting.
May the God of Peace and the God of Division grant you your desires as you so choose.