“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the Earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. ~ ESV (2001)
When we hear this particular verse of the Bible, it may throw some of us for a loop. Of all Jesus’ teachings, one of his most prominent was that of forgiveness. So why, then, would the Lord of Light and the Father of Forgiveness say that he would bring a sword to the world?
To put it simply, the sword was brought to the world to do what a sword is meant to do: cut. Evil runs rampant in this world, and we, as Christians, are given a sword in a scabbard; however, do we use the sword in times that we must?
This era is one of sugar-coating, peacemaking, smoothing over, non-discipline, and political correctness. Sometimes, though, the coating must come off, the wrinkles must be ironed, and the unruly must be disciplined. That is where the Sword of the Spirit must be unsheathed.
The Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit; therefore, our tongue is sharper than any blade forged by the hand of man. The scriptures are used and spoken to do battle with Satan and his army, much the same way as Jesus withstood him so many centuries ago. Instead of just telling Satan to get away, our Lord quoted scripture to reinforce his point.
At one point, even Satan himself quoted scripture! Of course, we, much like Sat
an, are able to quote scripture out of context. This is using our sword for a means other than cutting through evil. It is important to consider the whole context of the scripture that one is quoting, not just the scripture.
As a particular pastor once said to me, “Remember the context of the scripture. Read not only the scripture to quote, but those just before and after it. So you’ll be reading, at the very least, three scripture.”
That is true. The context of something is the before, the present, and the future. What’s happening all around it. As Christians, we must never be so narrow-minded that we believe it is only the now that matters. It is the collection of life in total that is the context of our lives, which allow us to quote the scriptures accurately and genuinely, to cut through evil and save those snared in darkness.