A sword will pierce even your own soul. (Luke 2:35)
Because of her relationship to Jesus as the mother who gave Him birth, Mary was promised a piercing of her own soul. This piercing was not only promised to Mary; it is promised to all those who desire to live in proximity to their Prince.
When Kim and I were first saved in 1995, our relationships began to change, both professionally and personally. We both felt this promised piercing keenly as we lost friends, colleagues, and clients; at times we experienced condemnation from those who could say that they “knew us when . . .” It has been 23 years—six years as church planters—and we can both testify to the truth that the closer we walk with Jesus, the more we experience this promised piercing.
Christians must remember Christ’s statement that He came “not to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). Jesus is the dividing line in life. The unbelieving world may tolerate Him as a “good teacher” or even a “great prophet,” but it will have nothing to do with a Jesus who is both Lord and Savior. When Jesus is that to you—when you confess that He is “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6)—the world is not happy with you. You are seen as intolerant, narrow-minded, and living in some kind of modern “dark ages.”
This hostility should not surprise us in the least. Jesus promised that we will have trouble in this world if the world knows we are His. I remember Dr. R.C. Sproul telling me during a seminary class, “Tommy, if some people are not upset with you when you are preaching the whole counsel of God, one of two things has happened: either they don’t understand what you are preaching . . . or you are not preaching it!”
Our Lord spoke very directly of the animosity we should expect from the world:
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. (John 15:18-19)
Have you experienced this promised piercing of your soul because of your sold-out commitment to your Savior? Have relationships with friends or even family been affected by your relationship to Jesus? Remember, we must speak the truth in love, but with a heart filled with compassion, so that when this promised piercing comes, it comes for His sake and not because we projected a “holier than thou” attitude. Peter said, “If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (1 Peter 4:14).
May this be the confession of our lives for the glory of God and in the name of Jesus!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!