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Did Jesus really come to bring peace or is there a contradiction?

We have; Matthew 5:38–39 “You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.

Matthew 5:43-48 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Yet the following

Jesus said, “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34)

34 Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – 36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.” (Matthew 10: 34-36)

Luke 22:36 - 36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.

Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26)

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned (John 15:1-6)

Everyone will be salted with fire. (Mark 9:49)

John 2:15 So He made a whip out of cords and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle. He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.

“But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them, bring them here and kill them in front of me.” (Luke 19:27)

note also (I have not mentioned old testament)

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven." [Matthew 5:17-20]

Which way is it?

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  • (Up-voted +1.) Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! Revelation 6:16.
    – Nigel J
    May 12 at 14:10
  • 1
    If Christ's coming would have brought peace towards His followers, then there would have been no need for them to turn the other cheek in the first place, since, in times of peace, no one strikes another person on the cheek; but the world would persecute His early followers, as explicitly stipulated elsewhere by Him (John 15:18-25).
    – Lucian
    May 12 at 14:35
  • Depends on your understanding of peace in context. Luke 19 is a parable depicting the judgment day when he will punish the evildoers in his second coming with full of wrath and judgment. None of the verses suggest Jesus to be a terrorist violent man. The sword denotes the sword of truth. The division brought by the belief in truth and standing firm to the faith without bending it to persecution and pressure.
    – Michael16
    May 13 at 15:24
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Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah's prophecy was fulfilled in Luke 2:

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14“Glory to God in the highest heaven,

and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Paul confirmed this peace in Ephesians 2:

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

Jesus himself is our peace. He gave us peace between God and us. It is inner peace. It is not outer/worldly peace.

Matthew 10:

34“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

35For I have come to turn
“ ‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

We can use this inner peace to overcome the outer/worldly unrest.

John 16:33

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Did Jesus come to bring peace?

Yes, inner peace but not external/worldly peace. At least not yet.

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The apparent contradiction stems from misunderstanding the Greek word, βάλλω:

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. (ESV)
μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν οὐκ ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἀλλὰ μάχαιραν

Rarely is this word rendered as "bring." In fact the sense of the word is "to throw or let go of a thing without caring where it falls." So:

Do not think that I have come to throw or let go of peace without caring where it falls on the earth.

The "sword" Jesus brought is specifically a μάχαιρα which the New Testament writers used to describe the word of God:

and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword (μάχαιραν) of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17)

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword (μάχαιραν), piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

Jesus did not come to throw peace out without caring where it fell. He came to make peace with God for mankind, but He did so in a very specific way: by throwing the Word of God without caring where it fell.

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"For the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost" (Romans 5:5).

"But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:" (Ephesians 4:15).

"Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth" (John 17:17).

Therefore when we "do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also" (Matthew 5:39) by "Proving your ministry" (II Timothy 4:5) with the Word of God for "correction" (II Timothy 3:16)

Which shows that you "...love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!" (Matthew 5:43) for we "Pray without ceasing" (I Thessalonians 5:17) that is "loving your enemies" and being "perfect" (Matthew 5:48) for

"The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple." (Psalm 19:7)!

To "turn the other cheek" doesn't mean you're slapped literally but when one has an unrighteous belief they "slap" you with their unrighteous belief but "turn the other cheek" by "Proving your ministry" when you present them with the Word of God to "correct" them and you have "turned the other cheek" and will always "be perfect" (Matthew 5:48; Psalm 19:7)!

I hear God telling me to present you with Hebrews 12:11 that says

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

The Word of God "cuts" (Hebrews 4:12) those in unrighteous beliefs but if a person has "readiness of mind" (Acts 17:11) "it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby" (Hebrews 12:11).

Afterwards, there is "Peace!"

"For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).

The Word of God "cuts" (Hebrews 4:12) those in unrighteous beliefs and "kills" all unrighteous beliefs and not the person literally!

God is telling me to give you another Scripture that confirms truth

"Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them" (Jeremiah 5:14).

GOD "kills" those in unrighteous beliefs with His Word!

15 "And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

16 And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King Of kings, And Lord Of lords.

17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;" (Revelation 19:15-17)!

All praises to "the Great God" Who is "King of kings and LORD of lords!"

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How could the "prince of peace" (Isa. 9:6) come to bring division?

Jesus ' teachings are perfused with hyperbole and other rhetorical devices. Here, by "a sword" he means "division" occasioned by the preaching of the truth, which divides those who accept it and those who do not, hence . We know this, and don't merely infer this, because one Gospel author uses the (presumably) original, "sword," and one uses "division" (Matthew 10:34; Luke 12:51). This is also proven by how He continues:

Matthew 10:35-36 For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's enemies shall be they of his own household.

(I tend to think that "sword" is original because one will not usually be so bold as to take liberty to render something more or less uncontroversial as something highly contraversial in itself, and that "division" is an interpretive rendering. However, it's entirely possible that both Gospel writers are recording the words of Jesus from two different occasions. But I don't think that likely in this instance.)

Namely, there is a play on the words "I have come to," since they might be interpreted as meaning, depending on context, "I have come with the end goal of,.." or "I have come with something that will cause..." The distinction is nuanced, but great. Christ has come to establish peace based on truth, not on falsehood, this will necessarily result in division

The purpose of using rhetoric is specifically to get people to ask these kinds of questions, and to foster discussion and understanding. This is the purpose of words like "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26).

There is peace in the truth and in righteousness, but division and punishment for sinners. The two do NOT contradict. Did Jesus come to bring peace for sinners, and to make grace a cloak for malice? Absolutely not.

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  • few comments - a number of verses have been overlooked / ignored. There is a lot of assumptions Luke 22:35-36 relates to disciples arming themselves prior to the roman soldiers arriving. Jesus never mentioned new convent. Isaiah 9:6 not sufficient evidence this relates to Jesus. 1 Samuel 15:3 - 3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy[a] all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’” May 17 at 12:38
  • I should also add - The quotes used are from Jesus not others like Paul. "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:9 May 17 at 12:56
  • I don't know why you would set Evanglists against the other Apostles as if that's coherent and not self-refuting, but Jesus coming to bring peace or division is separate from the legitimate use of weapons; if Jesus supports using weapons, that doesn't mean He supports seeking strife, not at all. No Christian has ever believed that the use of weapons are outright immoral. I don't know what point you're trying to make. May 17 at 15:16
  • Sola Gratia the point I was making is there appears to be a conflict with 'turn the other cheek' etc... Get a sword and protect yourself - I did not come to bring peace and other very strong statements - I was looking for evidence from 'Jesus' he came to bring peace or not as the case may be. Not what Paul says because he in my opinion never had any authority apart from his own boasting and continuously changes what Jesus said - Matthew 5:17-20 - Jesus never came to change anything before but to continue. May 19 at 8:57
  • Again, assuming that one author is 'the true author' and others are unreliable is fallacious — if you don't know the motives of Matthew, Luke, or John then you can't possibly say they weren't like Paul as well. You have no reason to do such. Also, Luke was a companion of Paul, so it makes no sense to pit them against each other. Also, 'turn the other cheek' is part of Jesus' rhetorical teaching, which includes things like 'swear not at all' which doesn't actually mean 'swear not at all.' The clue to 'turn the other cheek' is in 'swear not at all' and His other rhetorical teachings. May 19 at 17:16

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