“Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them just as Elijah did?”
But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.
“For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”
The disciples were very passionate men. Do you agree? The Lord speaks to His disciples and clarifies violence and peace in a solid way. The disciples motivated by the actions during the Old Testament era want to use their authority bringing violence-oriented solution than a peace-making one. They are obviously influenced and guided through the scriptures out of the Books of the Old Testament, as so many Christians of today do.
This teaching seems and is very relevant to a previous one, the “His full wrath or His mercy?”
I like the reaction of Jesus Christ! He rebuked them! He did not advise them, He did not just explained. He really wanted to shake them, so they do not forget. By this time, they had spent rather much time with Him. They should have known better!
“You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.” What a respond, what a declaration! That was the problem with the disciples – and so many of Christians today. We are not of the world, we are not of the Old Testament era. We are of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we are of the New Testament era, the era of Grace and not of Wrath/condemnation. Truly, the time of separation and judgment will come. Then again, we are not still there.
Our God is not a god of violence. We respond to evil with good and kindness. The end of this world as we know it will come and it will come in a violent way. Yet, the violence that exists in our days is not of God but of Satan who tries to kill, steal and destroy.
We are of a certain manner of spirit. We should not forget that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ while on earth as the Son of Man was never violent against men. He acted violent when He destroyed the tables in the Temple but He did not violate any human being. Instead, He received violence upon Him with no complains. He kept ceasing His disciples to act violent in more than one occasions.
Many read the following verse
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.”
and they feel free to forcefully act upon others or justify acts of war and violence. They combine it with two other ingredients: the fierce acts within Old Testament era and the truth that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. A good receipt to manipulate the Word and cover insecurities, fears and personal violent nature. They need to read the verses before and after to understand the context where Matthew 10:34 applies.
It speaks about separation due to faith, it speaks about persecution at individual level within families or expanding within communities and so forth. We, believers, are and will be violated, treated with no peaceful way. It is not us to act as such.
We do not have peace due to others or to circumstances. We have peace because we are one with Him, He gives us peace, a peace that is not of the world. He gives us His peace and teaches us how to keep it. He teaches us how to be peacemakers not war makers.
As we already read: “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”
The Lord came to save lives spiritually, providing redemption and reconciliation. Still, at the same time He provided physical salvation/healing through all the miracles He performed. He did so that they did not suffer as He had compassion on them. He did it to glorify the Father.
I believe that our work is to imitate Jesus. Choosing to save lives than destroying them through violent and manipulating teachings, decisions, acts that have nothing to do with the manner of the spirit we are of.
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