Matthew 10:34 New International Version (NIV)
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
How do we understand Jesus use of the word Sword in this verse?
In Matt. 10:34, it is written,
The "sword" (Greek μάχαιρα) represents "division" (Greek διαμερισμός), and this is evident when we examine the Synoptic parallel in Luke 12:51, in which it is written,
What does this division involve?
If we read the next verses following either verse, Jesus explains that it involves division of families.
In Matt. 10:35-36, it is written,
In Luke 12:52-53, it is written,
This may not be well understood in America, in which the religious majority is Christianity (however, it does happen on occasion). However, in the Middle East, particularly Judea, which is the setting of the Gospel, the religious majority was Judaism. Not too long after Christianity was born, the Pharisees and the Sanhedrin became hostile to any Jews who converted to Christianity. Those Jews who confessed Christ were excommunicated from the people of Israel and placed under cherem. John Gill describes this in vast detail. Naturally, this would affect family relationships.