Division not peace (Lk 12:51-12:51)

“Do you think

That I have come

To bring peace

To the earth?

No!

I tell you!

But rather discord!”

 

δοκεῖτε ὅτι εἰρήνην παρεγενόμην δοῦναι ἐν τῇ γῇ; οὐχί, λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀλλ’ ἢ διαμερισμόν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should not think (δοκεῖτε) that he came to bring peace to the earth (ὅτι εἰρήνην παρεγενόμην δοῦναι ἐν τῇ γῇ).  With a solemn pronouncement (οὐχί, λέγω ὑμῖν), he said the opposite.  He had come to bring discord or divisions (ἀλλ’ ἢ διαμερισμόν).  This διαμερισμόν is a unique word of Luke that means breaking up, discord, or hostility.  Luke used this word instead of the normal word of Matthew, “the sword μάχαιραν”.  This verse is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:34, indicating a Q source.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that he had come to bring divisions because he was a disrupter.  They should not think (Μὴ νομίσητε) that Jesus had come to bring peace on earth (ὅτι ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν).  He had not come to bring peace (οὐκ ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην), but quite the opposite, to bring the sword (ἀλλὰ μάχαιραν), much like the ancient Hebrew prophets, especially Ezekiel, chapter 38:21.  The sword meant war not peace.  Jesus was not a peacemaker, but a sign of contradiction.  Well, there goes the prince of peace.  Have you ever thought about Jesus as a disrupter?

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They would not receive Jesus (Lk 9:53-9:53)

“But the people

Did not receive Jesus,

Because his face

Was set

Toward Jerusalem.”

 

καὶ οὐκ ἐδέξαντο αὐτόν, ὅτι τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἦν πορευόμενον εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ

 

Now there was a note of discord here.  Luke continued his unique story of Jesus traveling through Samaria, on his way to Jerusalem.  Luke noted that the people of this Samaritan town did not want to receive Jesus (καὶ οὐκ ἐδέξαντο αὐτόν), because he was only passing by on his way to Jerusalem (εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ).  These Samaritans did not look favorably on the Jerusalem pilgrims who passed by their towns on the way to the Temple.  After all, Jesus had steadfastly set his face (ὅτι τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἦν πορευόμενον) to go there, not stopping or staying to worship at Mount Gerizim in Samaria.  Thus, Jesus was not welcome, if he was going to the Judean place of worship in Jerusalem, and just visiting or passing through here.  Would you be upset if someone said that they were planning to visit someone else but just stopped by?

Speak the truth (Zech 8:16-8:17)

“‘These are the things

That you shall do.

Speak the truth

To one another!

Render at your gates

Judgments that are true!

Make for peace!

Do not devise evil

In your hearts

Against one another!

Love no false oath!

All these are things

That I hate.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh laid out what they should do.  They were to speak the truth to one another.  When they rendered judgments at the gates, they were to be true decisions.  They were to make peace, and not discord.  They were not to devise evil in their hearts against each other.  They should not deliver any false oaths.  These were all the things that Yahweh hated, since truth was paramount.

Quarrels (Sir 28:8-28:12)

“Refrain from strife.

Your sins will be fewer.

The hot tempered kindle strife.

The sinner disrupts friendships.

The sinner sows discord

Among those who are at peace.

In proportion to the fuel,

So will the fire burn.

In proportion to the obstinacy,

So will strife increase.

In proportion to a person’s strength,

So will be his anger.

In proportion to his wealth,

So he will increase his wrath.

A hasty quarrel kindles a fire.

A hasty dispute sheds blood.

If you blow on a spark,

It will glow.

If you spit on it,

It will be put out.

Yet both come out of your mouth.”

Sirach reminds us of the problems with quarrels and arguments. If you refrain from conflicts, your sins will be less. Usually it is the hot tempered people who start disputes. Sinners disrupt friendships. They sow discord among peacemakers. Then Sirach has a number of proportional examples. The more fuel you have, the more the fire burns. The more stubborn you are, the more disagreements you create. The stronger you are, the more you will be angry. The more wealth that you have, the more fury you will have. Sometimes it is a hasty quarrel that starts a fire that leads to bloodshed. However, you have control with your mouth. You can either blow on the spark to increase the flame or spit on the spark to put it out. The choice is yours, spit or blow on the spark of a fire to increase or decrease the argument.