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CityLight Pastor Commentary:
Today’s text reveals two different ideas which can appear to conflict on the surface. On the one hand, Jesus tells us to expect division (Lk 12:51-52). On the other hand, Jesus tells us to make peace with our adversaries (Lk 12:57-59). How can we make peace by following Him if the very act of becoming a disciple guarantees conflict? The answer lies in 1) our intent and 2) differentiating what we allow to create conflict versus what we allow to roll off our shoulders. When it comes to intent, our honest goal as Christian witnesses must be to show the love of the Gospel; not just to argue. When it comes to differentiation, Jesus is explaining that conflict will come as a result of standing for Truth, and it is this type of conflict that is permissible. However, conflict between two Christians should never occur if both are standing for the same Truth. Unfortunately, Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension do not guarantee peace on earth. That does not mean, however, that we should avoid preaching the only Message of reconciliation that will ever result in peace.
Father, help me to recognize when You want me to fight for You, and when You want me to back down. Help me to avoid unnecessary conflict. Help me always to pursue reconciliation with everyone I meet! I might be the only Jesus some people see; help me to live up to that reality in Jesus’ Mighty Name!