The disciples of Jesus, like their Jewish contemporaries, believed that when the Messiah came, he would come as the “Prince of Peace,” bringing political freedom and material prosperity (Isa. 9:6–7; Zech. 9:10). Moreover, Jesus taught them that peacemakers were indeed blessed (Matt. 5:9) and told them to offer greetings of peace as they entered a home (Matt. 10:12–13). Perhaps some were even aware that He was to bring “peace on earth” (Luke 2:14). Yet, Jesus also said, “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matt. 10:34). Jesus did not deny that peace would result from His …
Joel E. Kim is president and assistant professor of New Testament at Westminster Seminary California. He is coeditor of Always Reformed.