Peace or the sword?

Peter was learning to read. Like every child at this stage, he would read anything he could see: road signs, street names, shop names, advertisements and everything else he saw, happy to be able to read correctly. At home, he would read magazines, newspapers and even books. One day he opened the New Testament and a sentence got him very scared. 

So he shouted:

- Mom!… Mom!… 

Frightened, his mother came running from the kitchen, where she had been a baking cake, and as she wiped her hands on an apron she thought that her son was hurt. 

- What happened, Peter!... 

She found him sitting on the couch, with his eyes wide open and a book in his lap. 

- Mom! I read a thing that Jesus said, but I think I misread it. I do not understand it! 

- Why, honey? 

-Here He says: "I came not to bring peace on earth, but a sword”! You have always said that Jesus spoke of love! I think I read it wrong, isn’t it? - asked the astonished boy. 

- No, honey, you read it correctly. People do not quite understand what Jesus meant! - his mom said as she sat next to him. 

- What do you mean, Mom? I have watched a movie where the warriors used swords to fight. But not Jesus!... 

- Yes, Peter. But humankind understood it just as you did: that Jesus meant that people should implement His doctrine with the force of weapons. 

- And it isn’t like that? - asked the boy. 

- No, Peter. Jesus meant that His ideas would bring confusion and discord among people of the same family, among relatives, neighbours, friends, co-workers etc. Do you know why? Each person thinks differently from one another, and the doctrine of Jesus would not be accepted without discussion and arguments. 

The boy became pensive, then he muttered: 

- Yes. But Jesus spoke of the sword and violence as a symbolic struggle. That is, just like when we endeavour to accomplish something that takes work but with which we are happy when we finish. - It is very complicated to understand... But doesn’t the sword and violence mean fighting? 

- All of this confuses me, Mom! 

- I know it's not easy, darling. But let's think about it! How many times does your teacher explain a new subject and you do not really understand? Everyone sees things in a different way!... 

- That’s true. That happened the other day. Our teacher began a new lesson and told us to read it and then explain it. It was a huge mess in the room! Only after she read the lesson sentence by sentence and explained it to us that we understood! 

- The same happens with the Gospel of Jesus. There are things we do not understand when we are kids… we need to grow up to understand, because we then will have better knowledge. 

- Ah! It's true, Mom. That's what happened to me. Before I learned to read, I did not understand the letters in books, cards, newspapers… Now, I can read everything ... or almost everything! 
The mother smiled and hugged her son, full of affection and satisfaction to see him growing each day physically and mentally. 

- That's right, Peter. Every day you get wiser! Every year you will study different and more complicated subjects, but everything will be clear in your head, because you will have condition to understand! This is what happens with the Gospel of Jesus. 

- But what about peace? 

- When Jesus talks about peace, we must understand that it is not the peace of those who waste the whole day resting, doing nothing. It is the peace of those who strive to always do their best, according to their conscience. Because they are at peace with themselves. 

- Got it. When I have a chore to do, I get angry, it seems that I am going to a fight! After I finish, I feel good, happy, peaceful. When Jesus speaks of a sword, is that what He means?...

- Yes, it is a symbolic sword, which represents the struggle that each one of us has with ourselves to improve, change our hearts and feelings, also helping others to change so that the Gospel of Jesus is everywhere. 

- Got it, Mom! 

The boy hugged his mother and ran out the door to play with his friends. Seeing them on the street, Peter invited them to play ball. They all agreed and someone brought a ball. It was a small no-way-out street, and they could play freely. They divided the teams, delineated the goal and soon were playing. 
Suddenly, after a goal scored by the opposing team, someone shouted: 

- Oh, Jesus! Now things are going to get ugly!... 

- Do not put Jesus in the game because then there will be confusion! - Peter said. 

- What do you mean? - someone asked. 

- Because if we lose the game, you will want to fight and I do not want to fight with anyone. Jesus came to bring the truth and end the darkness, but you need to understand what He said. 

Peter looked around and noticing his surprised friends explained: 

- Jesus said He did not come to bring peace, but a sword. This means that Jesus knew that his words would cause confusion and fights between people until they understood His words, which will bring us peace! 

- Oh, thank goodness ... - and everyone felt relieved. 

(Psychographed by Celia X. de Camargo on 05/05/2014.)
Translation: Johnny Silveira

Quelle: O Consolador-  Weekly Magazine of Spiritism, Year 9 - N° 453 - February 21, 2016