READ: Proverbs 24, Luke 12, Revelation 4

THE GREAT DIVIDER

The Prince of Peace proclaims: “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you not at all, but rather division” (Luke 12:51). Modern man distorts Jesus into what they want Him to be: the great uniter, the one who makes everyone happy in their sin, the one who brings peace by being non-judgmental. Fortunately Jesus did not come to bring peace to sinful man, nor to unite sinful man to God. Jesus came to war against sin and to divide it out of man at any cost, even the cost of His own blood. Jesus is the great divider.

Jesus Divides Jealousy out of Love. It is the most natural thing in the world (even for the righteous) to rejoice when an enemy falls. Proverbs 24:17, however, instructs us otherwise. We are not to rejoice when our enemy stumbles. The depraved human heart not only rejoices when enemies stumble, it also rejoices when competitors fail. The jealous Christian competes for prominence and position, and is wickedly jealous over those who might be chosen and rejoices over those removed from the race. Jesus does not sign peace agreements with jealousy. He goes to war with the jealousy in our hearts and cuts it out of us. Jealous love is actually fear and hate.

Jesus Divides Anxiety out of Trust. Our Lord does not want us to live with an anxious mind (Luke 12:29). We claim to trust God, yet we have an infinitely complicated scale of trust. We trust Him to save us but not to defend our reputation. We trust Him to meet our physical needs but nor our emotional ones. We trust Him to be good but not to be just. We release to Him the things that we can’t control and worry about the things He leaves in our hands. Jesus does not sign peace agreements with anxiety. He goes to war with the anxiety in our hearts and cuts it out of us. Anxious trust is actually doubt.

Jesus Divides Carnality out of the Refined. By His own admission, gentle Jesus came to send fire on the earth (v. 49). Ultimately this fire will be physical, devastating, dissolving the elements with a fervent heat, destroying this fallen earth so that a new heavens and new earth may be created. Internally, Jesus will burn the sin out of us. Jesus does not sign peace agreements with carnality. He goes to war with the carnality in our hearts and burns it out of us. The carnal Christian is the useless Christian.

Jesus’ peace comes on Jesus’ terms. Jesus brings the world to peace by dividing sin out of it. Jesus brings His people to peace by dividing the sin out of us.

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