Christ Brought a Sword, To Cut Through the Veil
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.
I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
— Jesus, Gospel of Matthew 10:34
When I was around eight years old, accompanying my Baptist best friend to his Christian summer camp, I remember how surprised I was hearing that famous line.
My thought process was probably familiar to you:
“Wait I was really liking this guy, the ‘love your enemies’ teaching is right on—but now he’s talking about bringing swords?
He’s either terribly inconsistent or they got some translations wrong.”
I was completely unaware of the underlying figurative language behind this verse. And Vacation Bible School did a pretty miserable job of conveying the literal vs. the symbolic.
Literally, Christ gave a sermon up on a mountain.
Symbolically, he brought a sword…
Many years later after my exposure to the great Paramahamsa Yogananda and Kriya Yoga, I discovered a lesser-known Biblical commentary book by the late Hindu master, entitled The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection Within You. Even the title contains a shining symbolic example!
When I bought the book I immediately flipped to Yogananda’s commentary on this line. It is as follows:
“Think not that I came to bring material peace for souls to be settled complacently in earthly life.
I came not to offer short-lasting material happiness, but to give to the valiant spiritual soul a two-edged sword of wisdom and self-control, divine strength and determination by which he can sever the compulsions of material passions…
that might obstruct his attainment of the everlasting happiness and freedom.”
Joseph Campbell, one of the most impactful 20th century scholars on classical mythology, spent his life discussing the significance of world…