Variance

Jesus came into the world to bring variance. He came to bring division and confrontation to earth, not peace.

Does that surprise you? Did I just contradict your belief?

After all, the angels announce Jesus’ birth saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2:14

Certainly, Jesus does bring peace to His disciples. He says,

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 14:27

You speak the truth if you say that Jesus brings peace. But you do a disservice if you fail to mention that Jesus’ peace only comes to those who repent and accept God’s salvation.

Most people will never experience that aspect of Jesus.

Every believer will experience the…

Variance

…that Jesus brings. Here’s what the Bible says in Matthew Chapter Ten:

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Matthew 10:34

As Jesus’ disciples, we have peace in our heart. We have peace in the midst of the hostile environment Jesus created.

Jesus contradicts the popular message of secular religion: Peace.

As a matter of fact, proclamations of peace signify Satan’s work, especially his work in the Latter Days.

False religion

…proclaims peace. This is nothing new. Listen to what God said to His people a long time ago:

The prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, saith the Lord GOD.

Ezekiel 13:16

Here’s a question Prophet Jeremiah asked a long time ago. Listen to it. We can appropriately ask the same question right now:

Why hast thou smitten us, and there is no healing for us? we looked for peace, and there is no good; and for the time of healing, and behold trouble!

Jeremiah 14:19

You can preach peace all you want, but that won’t change the fact that there is no peace.

Instead, we have…

The sword

Jesus came to bring a sword. To me, the sword symbolizes…

Conflict.

From the moment Cain slew Abel, Earth has been the scene of an ongoing war. The conflict between good and evil overshadows every aspect of human history. Jesus came to fight in that war.

He is the Captain of our Salvation (Hebrews 2:10).

If you have received the New Birth, you now participate in the war. You have peace in your heart, but the conflict affects you every day of your life.

The sword also brings…

Separation.

The sword speaks of the Bible doctrine of separation.

Salvation brings division. A difference exists between God’s people and the world.

Jesus was separate

Here’s what the Book of Hebrews says about Jesus:

He is…

Is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

Hebrews 7:26

You also need to know that…

Jesus’ disciples are separate.

Here’s how Jesus says it:

I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

John 17:14

Separation in the New Testament…

…continues.

It’s a condition of your acceptance with Christ:

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

2 Corinthians 6:17

You should question any movement… any “church”… any “religious influencer”… who ignores the Doctrine of Separation.

Separation illustrates the permanent division that exists between the “saved” and the “lost.”

Sheep and goats

We share the Earth with the rest of humanity. However, we are not all God’s children.

Right now, sheep and goats mingle, but they are not equal.

Jesus says,

He [Jesus] shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Matthew 25:33

Jesus says to the sheep, the believers:

Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Matthew 25:34

Here’s the message Jesus has for the goats, those who are “lost.”

Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Matthew 25:41

Next, God wants to listen as Jesus teaches about…

The wheat and the tares.

The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

Matthew 25-26

God has good intentions. He sows good seed. The Enemy, a.k.a., Satan, attempts to spoil the work of God.

God also separates the…

Children of Satan from the Children of God

…in this life.

Jesus says, in John Chapter Eight:

Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

John 8:34

If you’re born again… if you’re “saved”… If you’re a disciple of Christ, you are free from sin.

If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 8:32

Don’t let the modern religious world deceive you:

The truth doesn’t set you free. There, you see a natural desire for freedom. The Children of Darkness, however, have no desire for freedom. They have no desire to live in the light.

Jesus says,

The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

John 1:5

Jesus creates separation. Light causes a separation from darkness.

You were the servant of sin but…

Now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

Romans 6:22

When you accept salvation, Jesus’ power makes you free. It’s a qualitative transformation.

Don’t fall for religious messages of unity. Jesus’ message polarizes people. We are not “all God’s children.” We are children of light.

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

Ephesians 5:8

Do you understand? Jesus doesn’t bring peace to the world: He brings a sword. He brings division. He brings separation.

He also brings…

Variance.

As a believer, you have nothing in common with the world. Jesus creates variance.

What do you think that means?

In the manufacturing world, variance can mean “a deviation from the standard.” In fact, complicated methodologies exist to ensure products and tasks fall within an acceptable range of deviation.

Here’s what Jesus says,

I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

Matthew 10:35-36

Jesus creates interpersonal conflict, so get used to it.

Because of your faith, you have enemies. Jesus’ most vicious enemies were religious people.

You can expect the same.

You might be asking,

What is variance?

In our text, the word variance effectively coincides with the sword of the Lord.

The word rendered here as “variance” means:

To cut into two parts, cleave asunder, sever

The Outline of Biblical Usage by Larry Pierce, creator of the Online Bible

Here’s how Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines the word:

To cut into two parts, cleave asunder, dissever…  to set one at variance with [literally, againstanother:

– Thayer’s Greek Lexicon via blueletterbible.org

Everything Jesus does divides, but it also causes confrontation.

In particular, Jesus divides families. Those who should be on your side are now against you.

To be clear, the variance Jesus brings is

Not a work of the flesh.

Interesting, the usage, “to set at variance” appears only once in the Bible as I’ve read in today’s text.

However, the Bible gives us a clue as to what this variance is not. Let’s take a look at Galatians Chapter Five, Verse 20, where Apostle Paul lists the works of the flesh. Beginning in Verse 19, the works of the flesh are as follows:

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:19-20

Jesus brings the Spirit of God, not works of the flesh.

The Outline of Biblical Usage defince it as:

Contention, strife, wrangling…

The Outline of Biblical Usage by Larry Pierce, creator of the Online Bible

Strong’s Concordance puts it this way:

Of uncertain affinity; a quarrel, i.e. (by implication) wrangling:—contention, debate, strife, variance.

Strong’s Definitions via blueletterbible.org

God wants you to see the difference between the variance Jesus brings and the variance the flesh brings.

Interestingly, Jesus brings variance to the world’s variance.

Variance vs. Variance

I used to see a comic strip called “Spy vs. Spy.” In that two spies worked against each other. The spies looked the same, except that one was white and the other was black. (Read more about Spy vs. Spy at Wikipedia.)

That describes the two appearances of the word, variance in the Bible. They look the same, but they war against each other.

Jesus brings division, separation, polarization, and conflict.

Jesus doesn’t bring debate and strife.

Jesus didn’t come to quarrel. He came to separate. As God’s minister, I’m not here to argue and debate. I’m here to cause a division between the forces of darkness and the forces of light.

For a moment, I want to go the Old Testament where scripture tells us of the situation between

Abraham and Lot.

Abraham and Lot were related, but they had different priorities. Abraham wanted to serve God, but Lot served the flesh.

As both men prospered, they ran out of space. Here’s how the Bible describes the situation in Genesis Chapter 13:

There was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle

Genesis 13:7

See that word, “strife”? That is the work of the flesh.

Notice how Abraham deals with this fleshly variance:

Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen

Geneis 13:8

When you encounter fleshly variance, the solution is separation.

At Abrahams suggestion…

 They separated themselves the one from the other.

Genesis 13:11

The world brings strife. When you follow Jesus, you have foes, but you don’t fight the same way.

The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;

2 Corinthians 10:4

Now, God wants you to…

Respond.

God warns you of those who proclaim peace on Earth in Jesus’ name.

If you accept Jesus as your Saviour and Lord, you can have peace. Jesus says:

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

Jesus gives you peace, but His peace is not for the world.

Jesus brings division to the world. But, He expects us to live in peace:

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

Hebrews 12:14

People don’t like what you stand for. The world, the flesh, and Satan want to join forces to destroy you with strife.

Like darkness and light. Like the sheep and the goats. Like the wheat and the tares… Jesus brings division, separation, polarization, and variance.

The creation of enemies is the natural result of salvation.

As is the case with Lot’s servants, the world will fight you. They fight with the variance of the flesh. They bring strife. Don’t engage them on their level.

You can’t fight a spiritual war using the tactics of the flesh.

Accept the variance Christ brings.

Let God fight your battles.

The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.

Exodus 15:3

For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

Deuteronomy 20:4

Accept the variance that Christ brings. Allow peace to reign in your heart.

Learn more from God’s Word

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