The Yeshua Nobody Wants to Know
Matthew 10:34-39 By Reverend Bryn MacPhail
If I were to ask you today to name some characteristics of Yeshua, what would you name? If you were describing the personality of Yeshua to someone, what adjectives would you use? Think of some in your head, and I will share with you the first ones that came to my mind. The three characteristics that immediately came to my mind were: GENTLE, FORGIVING, and LOVING. My guess is that most of you think of Yeshua in similar terms as well.
When I came to the end of chapter 10 in Matthew, however, I got a very different portrait of Yeshua. After reading this section, not many people, until reading this particular section in Matthew, know this side of Yeshua. And if we are aware of this side of Yeshua, we often choose to forget about it. We are anxious to hear how Yeshua loves His enemies, forgives prostitutes, touches lepers, and feeds the hungry, but that's it.
The Yeshua we see in chapter 10, verses 34-39–this Yeshua, quite frankly, is the one that nobody wants to know.
But if I skipped this section, you would miss an essential side of Yeshua. The side of Yeshua that is DEMANDING. This is where Yeshua is, what you might term "brutally straight forward". He holds nothing back here. "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword" (v.34). What a shocking statement! Yeshua "did not come to bring peace, but a sword"? Why would He say such a thing?
What Yeshua is doing here is He is correcting false assumptions about what the Jewish Messiah's mission was. According to Isaiah 9:5-7, the Messiah is described as the "Prince of Peace". The interpreters of the Hebrew Scriptures took that to mean that the Messiah would be the "Prince of Peace" ON EARTH. That, however, was not Yeshua' mission. The ultimate goal of the Gospel was, and is, not harmony on earth, but PEACE WITH GOD (Rom. 5:1). Yeshua says, "Do not think that I came to bring peace ON THE EARTH", but He did come to make peace between God and humanity (Rom. 5:1).
I will send them great trouble— REPENT and live all the things they feared. When I called, they did not answer. When I spoke, they did not listen. They deliberately sinned before my very eyes and chose to do what they know I despise.” Isaiah 66: 4 See, the Lord is coming with fire, and his swift chariots roar like a whirlwind. He will bring punishment with the fury of his anger and the flaming fire of his hot rebuke.16 The Lord will punish the world by fire and by his sword. He will judge the earth, and many will be killed by him.17 “Those who ‘consecrate’ and ‘purify’ themselves in a sacred garden with its idol in the center—feasting on pork and rats and other detestable meats—will come to a terrible end,” says the Lord. Isaiah 66:4 32“Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.
33 But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.34“Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.35‘I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
Your enemies will be right in your own household! ’l 37“If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. 38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. 39If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. Matthew 10:34-39 Take Up Your Cross and Follow Yeshua
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me 24 Then Yeshua told his disciples, “. 25 For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? Matthew 16:24
And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.” John 3:
3And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. 4If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 5 But those who obey God’s words truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Yeshua did.1 John 2:3 He kept the Leviticus food laws, he kept the Sabbath, He kept Yehovah feast days and he kept the commandments. Why don't we follow the only perfect example there is? “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.8For I tell you truly until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
We are to seek, serve, and obey.