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Loyalties Declared

Luke 12:51 (ESV) … “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.

Jesus promises peace, but it is not the kind of peace the world gives or tries to give (John 14:27). Peace on earth, universal peace, will not come until Jesus’ second coming when evil is destroyed and he reigns forever. Instead, Jesus’ first coming and the time now as believers await his return is a time of division between God’s forces and Satan’s forces. There is no middle ground with Jesus. Because he demands a response, intimate groups may be torn apart when some choose to follow him and others refuse to do so. Loyalties must be declared and commitments made, sometimes to the point of severing relationships with those who reject Jesus or who try to substitute him with someone else.

Micah also prophesied about these kind of divisive conditions (Micah 7:6). Jesus explained the response to his call—conflict will arise between those who respond and those who do not. The reaction may be violent. In the early church, Jews who became Christians were excommunicated from the synagogues and often shunned by their families. Even today, the road is difficult for Jews or Muslims who turn to Christ. Their own family members become their worst enemies. Jesus did not come to make such divisions happen, yet his coming, his words, and his call inevitably will cause conflict between those who accept him and those who reject him.[1]

[1] Barton, B. B., Veerman, D., Taylor, L. C., & Osborne, G. R. (1997). Luke (p. 333). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

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