Some passages say that Jesus came to bring peace, but others declare that he did not. Isn’t this a blatant contradiction? No, actually. Let’s take a look.
Jesus did not come to bring peace
Matthew 10:34-36, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 “For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.”
Luke 12:51, 52, “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; 52 for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two, and two against three…”
Luke 22:36, “And He said to them, “But now, let him who has a purse take it along, likewise also a bag, and let him who has no sword sell his robe and buy one.”
Jesus came to bring peace
Mark 9:50, “Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace…”
Acts 10:36, “The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all).”
Context is the key to Jesus’ words. In Matthew 10:34, Jesus is speaking about the divisions that will come, even among family members, over their belief or lack of belief about Him. In that respect, He has come to bring division. This context is also related to Luke 12:51. The lack of peace is caused by those who reject Jesus persecuting those who believe in Him.
Luke 22:36 Jesus is preparing the disciples for His departure. He is telling them that they will need to provide for themselves and even protect themselves. Up to that time, everything they had needed had been provided. But, after the crucifixion and ascension, they would again be “on their own.” They would need to work, provide for their families, and, if need be, protect their own; hence, the mention of the sword. Of course, the Bible teaches that Christians are to be peaceful, loving, and forgiving; however, it also teaches that we are not required to sit idly by when persecuted unrighteously.
The rest of the “peace” verses, teach just that: peace.
Jesus did not contradict Himself. When we look at His words in context, we can see what He was saying and that there is no contradiction at all.