Straight away from this Holy Scripture we can see that the Christian walk was never going to be easy. It was always going to be fraught with difficulties or with trials - tough, or better known as “taking up our crosses". However, more specifically, what did The Lord Jesus Christ mean by His statement? First of all did He mean it literally? No, and yet that is exactly what Christendom has done down through the ages, with Rome and the demon-inations acting more like savage warring tribes than God's Church. Catholics murdering anyone that didn't go along with their satanic blasphemous ideas; Protestants, in turn, murdering Catholics for their money grabbing, subversive political activities and heresies; the ‘Christian’ Crusaders butchering Muslims and vice -versa and all of this violence done in The Lord Jesus Christ's name (apart from the Muslims of course).
We know too that The Lord Jesus Christ gave us a sound warning about the literal use of swords when Peter struck off the right ear of a servant of the High Priest. The Lord then uttered His famous words - “He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword. " In other words there is no room in the Kingdom of God for violence of any description especially vengeful violence. Now, in complete opposition of what The Lord said, what does all this violence from the hands of ‘Christians’ represent when we apply The Truth of God's Word to it?
Matt 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. God's Holy Word has spoken, not me
Ok, so we have proven that this sword is not literal, so what kind of sword are we talking about? Well for a start it's a very sharp sword and it is two edged which means however one wields it, it cuts and it cuts deep drawing much metaphorical blood, especially the blood of those called, but of unbelief. This means it hurts and causes much inner pain to those on the receiving end of it. How do we know this? We know it because they respond and they respond in various negative ways. Often, the first reaction is silence; the Sword of Truth usually silences those who are opposed to it. The next reaction is varied depending upon the individual. Some will argue endlessly if you let them, but in the main they all have one thing in common - hate. They all hate The Truth and eventually will attempt to kill the messenger of The Truth.
Here are some Holy Scriptures to support what I have been saying:
Hebrews 4:12 For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul (breath) and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Brackets mine)
Here in Hebrews the author is speaking to those being called into The Lord's Sabbath Rest and the Sword of Truth is here sorting out believers from unbelievers. Hebrews 4:6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
The Sword of Truth cuts deeper and pierces deeper than any physical sword and it will cause inner turmoil for a while until it brings forth repentance - a change of heart or attitude in a new disciple. It is a discerner of the intents and inner thoughts of our entire being, right through to our heart and the deepest recesses of our minds - no part of our being can escape it. It convicts those who are called and believe and draws them to repentance. Alternatively, those who are called, yet remain in a state of unbelief will respond in the ways as described in the earlier paragraphs.
The Pharisees when confronted with the Sword of Truth from the mouth of The Lord Jesus Christ were often silenced, but then afterwards they displayed their hatred. They went away to discuss their strategy on how to fraudulently and illegally accuse Him and kill Him.
Moving on in Matthew 10 we're now confronted with the reality of how close to home the use of this sword can affect those ‘near and dear to us. ’ Verse 35: For I am come 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. 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
Now these sorts of Holy Scriptures are the ones that many mainstream Christians prefer to read over quickly or just plain ignore because they don't sit well with their non-gospel and non-confrontational liberal view of things. There's not much luvvy duvviness in these verses and these Holy Scriptures don't tickle their ears one little bit. Here in these verses The Lord is saying quite clearly, and unambiguously, that there will be heated discourse and arguments in some households between father and son and/or son and father; mother and daughter or daughter in law against her mother in law. This in turn will mean, in some cases, a permanent parting of the ways. They will become enemies and I know this to be true because it has happened to me. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself had this problem with His own siblings and with His Nazarene neighbours. He made a special point too of letting us all know about Him not being received in His own backyard.
Matthew 13:57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. 58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
As True Believers and followers of The Lord Jesus Christ the important thing we must learn here is this: This family feuding is a one way street, yes the Sword of Truth has come in and caused your family pain through your belief in The Lord Jesus Christ, and they hate you for it, but you don't hate them in return. You love them in return but that doesn't mean you stay in their company and become a doormat Christian being the recipient of continued abuse - you leave as soon as possible. Your leaving will make it more bearable for them than if you stay and that in itself will be an act of love on your part. Don't forget, you are the one with the Power of God within you; your family has not been blessed in such a way. This is why The Lord Jesus Christ left Nazareth and went into Judea to preach.
Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: