"Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you ..." (Luke 12:51-53)

"Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law." (Luke 12:51-53)

Isn't Jesus supposed to be the 'Prince of Peace'?

Is this the same Jesus that some teachers say they follow as they preach the importance of family and declare Jesus the 'prince of peace?'

Certainly, these teachings of Jesus differ from those of these institutional teachers.

The term 'prince of peace' was a term used by Isaiah as he glorified the Supreme Being, writing:
And His Name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
This term, Prince of Peace, taken from the Hebrew phrase שַׂר שָׁלוֹם or Sar Shalowm - in fact, refers not to some kind of peace with respect to countries and tribes. The word Shalom or Shalowm refers to "completeness, soundness, welfare, peace" and "tranquillity, contentment" according to the lexicon. Thus within the context of the Supreme Being, it refers to spiritual peace: Being tranquil, satisfied and complete.

Furthermore, the word Sar refers to being in charge or responsible for what is referred to. In Exodus and Numbers, the word "sar" was used to describe someone who was chief or leader. It also refers to "Ruler of rulers" according to the lexicon.

In other words, Isaiah is referring to the Supreme Being as being complete in Himself and the Ruler and Source of contentment and tranquility. Thus a more appropriate translation of שַׂר שָׁלוֹם or Sar Shalowm - one of God's Holy Names - would be something like:
Master of Tranquility
And the reason He is the Source of contentment is that we can become content and fulfilled by loving Him and serving Him.

Why did Jesus bring division into families?

"From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."
Jesus described practically every possible direct family relationship. Why and how would Jesus be bringing so much division between family members?

Because this is the physical world and here in the physical world these physical bodies are not who we are. We are not these physical bodies. These physical bodies are temporary vehicles we are driving for a few decades before we have to leave them at the time of death.

This also means that at the time of death - when we leave our physical bodies - we also leave behind the family of this body. In one split second, our entire family relationships are wiped out together with all our possessions, accomplishments, fame, and money.

After the moment of death, the body we occupied will begin to decompose, and with this, all those family members we thought were so important to us will be removed from us.

And soon each of those former family members will also leave their bodies and thus also leave behind the notion that they are our family members. Just as the physical body is temporary - the family of the physical body is also temporary. And when death occurs, these false identities begin to quickly fade.

One might compare this with a dream. When we are dreaming we think the dreamscape is real and permanent, and all those in the dream are also real. Then we wake up and realize that everything - the dreamscape and those within our dream - is gone. It was just a temporary dreamscape. And while we might remember the dream for a while after we wake up, the memory of it soon fades.

While the physical body is more real than a dream, its temporary nature is the same. We are neither these physical bodies nor our dream body. We are the spirit-person who dwells within. Our real identity is made of spirit, not matter. Jesus specifically taught this:
"The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life." (John 6:63)
“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more." (Luke 12:4)
If we are these physical bodies, then we should be afraid of those who kill the body, right? The fact that there is an "after that" - along with the fact that Jesus doesn't want us to fear the body being killed - indicates clearly that we are not these physical bodies.

Just consider what Jesus said to one of his students who wanted to bury his father's dead body:
“Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” (Matt. 8:22)
Jesus' statement uses metaphorical language to illustrate that those who are seeing the physical body as the self - and taking shelter in the family of the physical body - and thus worshiping these bodily relationships - are spiritually dead.

This is why Jesus brings division among family members. Because those who truly follow Jesus and thus follow Jesus' teachings - will reject their identification of themselves as being the physical body and members of a physical family.

Those who truly follow Jesus and his teachings will see the Supreme Being and Jesus as our family. Such a consciousness will also render seeing all children of God as our brothers and sisters.

What about "turn the other cheek"?

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." (Matt. 5:9)
Here the word "peacemaker" is being translated from the Greek word εἰρηνοποιός (eirēnopoios), which means ""pacific" and "loving peace." This is specific to being content and tranquil within - spiritually.

Note here that the word being translated to "children of God" is υἱοὶ θεοῦ - and υἱοὶ is the plural form of υἱός (huios) - which is the word that many institutional translators have translated to "son" in "son of God" (υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ). As we've discussed in depth elsewhere, υἱός (huios) can only mean "children" or "son" in the sense of the physical family - "in a restricted sense, the male offspring - one born by a father and of a mother" according to the lexicon. The definition in this context is "used to describe one who depends on another or is his follower."

Thus the better translation for υἱός (huios) would be along the lines of "devoted follower" or "loving servant."

This would make Jesus the "loving servant of God" or "devoted follower of God" according to the Greek text. And with respect to the text above, we have:
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called loving servants of God." (Matt. 5:9)
The fact that this word υἱός (huios) means "son" or "children" when speaking of the physical family, yet "devoted follower" or "loving servant" when referring to a devoted person's relationship with the Supreme Being yields the very reason Jesus brings division to those who take shelter in their physical families - by identifying themselves with the physical body and thinking their family will bring them ultimate comfort and happiness.

While this isn't to say that one can't be a good provider to their family and love and care about their family members' welfare, it is the issue of taking shelter in the family - thinking the family will satisfy our needs for safety, comfort and happiness.

Those who take shelter in the family are certainly shocked when their world is rocked by a death of a family member's body. Those who take shelter in their family are in fact doomed to sadness and disappointment as they face an endless parade of death - first by one's grandparents, and then by parents - if not the early death of younger family members. In fact, those who take shelter in their family over the years become burdened with pain - after seeing family member after family member die.

But should a person see themselves as Jesus is trying to teach us - as the spirit-person and family member of the Supreme Being, then there is no pain. There is no burden to carry because the Supreme Being never dies, and our spiritual identity - our spirit-person - also never dies. And those in this world that we care about also never die when they leave their bodies. 

This is the consciousness of life, which transcends the emptiness and painful realities that follow our identifying ourselves as the temporary physical body.

This is why, when Jesus was told that his mother and brothers were standing outside waiting to talk with him, he said:
“Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” (Matt. 12:48)
and then:
"For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matt. 12:50)

Isn't there another type of peace?

Jesus is God's loving servant and representative. He thus maintains complete contentment and tranquility within His relationship with the Supreme Being.

As illustrated in his journey through the desert, Jesus did not need to chase the illusory dreams of materialism because he was satisfied within. He was content with his relationship with the Supreme Being - and doing what pleased the Supreme Being. This is why Jesus said:
"for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me." (John 5:30)
"For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me." (John 6:38)
Thus we find clarity in the fact that Jesus' contentment - his fulfillment - comes from serving and pleasing the Supreme Being.