[Jesus said] “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.”
Peace on Earth
Didn’t Jesus come to earth to bring peace? Yes! To win that peace, Jesus marched into war against sin, death, and hell. In the verses for our devotion today, he describes the distressing mission to win our eternal deliverance. Jesus looked ahead to the torment and death that he alone would undergo for us. He willingly poured out his lifeblood on the cross to win eternal peace for guilty sinners.
Through Jesus’ perfect life and selfless suffering and death, believers have the peace of God. They are filled with a faith kindled by the Holy Spirit. Their transformed hearts burn within them because of the gospel’s joyful news of peace with God. However, not everyone enjoys the peace Jesus freely won for them. Unbelievers search in vain for worldly peace, dousing the flame of faith extended to them through the gospel. They live as enemies of Jesus, despising the cross and the comfort Christ brings.
Because of humanity’s sin, Jesus’ beautiful gospel message of eternal peace will cause division in this world. Believers will face rejection and ridicule by neighbors, friends, and even family. It is a temptation for believers to attempt to maintain peace in their relationships at all costs. Yet peace maintained at any price is not the purpose of Christ. In love, Jesus reminds his followers that loyalty to him counts more than all else.
Jesus has graciously given us a mission. Filled with Christ’s peace, we hear his call to proclaim his eternal gospel to others. When it appears that the message falls on deaf ears, do not be discouraged. Jesus encourages us, “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me” (Luke 10:16).
Our ultimate goal in sharing the gospel is that others may know of the peace Jesus won for them so that they may enjoy eternal peace with Jesus in heaven.
Dearest Jesus, thank you for giving me your everlasting peace. Give me confidence to proclaim your message of peace to others. Amen.