“I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, 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 her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” Luke 12:49-53
Too often people, both Christians and non-Christians, have this picture of Jesus as this laid back, peace and love preaching rabbi, mild mannered and just maybe a bit like some 1960’s era peace and live hippy. Nothing could be further from the real Jesus. Jesus didn’t come to south the masses but to upend the religious status quo. Jesus upset more people than He made happy. Even His followers had trouble with what Jesus was teaching. Jesus was a firebrand.
What Jesus taught made those in power mad. Jesus called the priest, Sadducees and Pharisees, those in power, hypocrites. Jesus point out how they coveted their positions of authority over serving God. He pointed out that their actions put to Jewish people in danger. Jesus was in a word divisive. He still is today.
In Muslim countries when some converts to Christianity their families turn against them. They disown the new convert. In some countries such a conversion is punishable by death. When a Jew converts to Christianity they are ostracized by the Jewish community. The Mormon Church similarly ostracizes those who leave Mormonism to follow the true Jesus. Try to defend Jesus in most university philosophy departments and watch the division and scorn.
Atheists want nothing to do with Jesus and when a fellow atheist become a believer in Jesus they are quick to doubt the convert’s sanity all the while making excuses for how anyone could fall for what they believe is silly superstition. Jesus did not come to bring peace. He did not come to bring us together in some new age Kumbaya singing love in sitting around a campfire. No Jesus came to divide us. He came to separate the goats from the sheep. He came to call out His people from the world to separate us from the world.
In the final days Jesus will send his sheep to an everlasting relationship and time with God while sending those who refused Him to an everlasting separation from God. Yes Jesus taught love and yes He had a special love for children. He taught that all God’s commandments and all the Law could be distilled down to two things. Love the Lord God with all our heart, mind and strength and love others as ourselves. But while teaching us to love He also came to separate us. In the end there will be two groups, those who chose to follow Jesus and those who chose to avoid Jesus. It is up to each of us to make a choice and not making a choice is the same as denying Jesus.
Have a blessed day,