6:39 PM

v. 34-36 by Dawne

1. 10:34-36 “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (vs. 34). This passage, appears to be contrary to what Christianity understands to be Jesus’ mission. Further, in Matt 5:9 Jesus is speaks to the crowd saying, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.” This is the mission discourse and the disciples are to imitate Jesus, how is this verse in keeping with the rest of Christ’s mission? Further why does Jesus contradict himself from the Sermon on the Mount?

2. According to Davies, Jesus is referring not to the existing time in which peace will be coming but rather “the messianic era of peace.” Therefore we should not expect to have peace here in this world, but we will be struggling and suffering until Christ does come again (pg. 219). In relation to families being separated, this again relates to what will happen in the eschaton, when the faithful will be separated from the unfaithful (pg. 220).

Luz, like Davies, believes that Jesus did not come to bring a rebellion against Rome and v.34 provides an antithesis, which is directed against the Jewish expectation of a messianic prince of peace. The familial split is drastic and may relate to the struggles of families in the eschaton. Luz also states on pg. 111 that Christ requires radical changes and has made the break in families and demands it of his followers who are to break with the ways of the world, which includes family, friends, and even possessions.

3. These arguments are persuasive and reading the commentaries it is easy to see the commentator’s train of thought. However, when reading the text directly from the Bible it is not evident what Christ is talking about and continues to be antithetical to 5:9. I do not see how a typical person would understand this passage to be relating to the eschaton without looking to the commentaries, rather would continue to see this as a contrary statement.

Comment (1)

I don't understand why D & A contrast Jesus' claim with the conditions of the eschatological messianic age. Isn't Jesus the Messiah according to Matthew and hasn't he been announcing the Kingdom of the God of Israel, along with signs that prove its present power over disease, demons, death, etc.? And what about the life of Jesus' community of disciples? Is there to be no peace there either? What good is this Jesus then?

What do you think about the impact of peacemakers? Do peacemakers make everyone happy and peaceful? Or do peacemakers invite violence from those who do not want peace but rule? If Jesus is indeed Prince of Peace (and Matthew is intimately connected to Isaiah), and if he is committed to not using the sword to get his way, then how might the peace of the Kingdom unfold in and through conflict?

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