Matthew 10:32-42 Jesus Divides

 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father,
    a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36     a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’[c]

37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

Jesus Divides

Jesus, I think of you as a unifier.  I think of you as one who dies so that the church could be united.  I guess that I have become somewhat sheltered.  I need to get out more.  I was talking to Angela Brown at Moody and she said that we shouldn’t really ask people to tell us what they believe about God.  People create their own God more easily than they create their own Christ.  However, we do create our own Christ’s or Messiahs.  We have to drill a little deeper to find out what people really do think about you.  It is when we get beyond the thoughts of you as a good man, a moral teacher, or a social reformer that people divide.  If we look at the way you demanded absolute authority over people’s lives, that would really set the cat amongst the pigeons.  People accept a version of you, when you are satisfying their felt needs people accept you easily.  However, when you highlight needs for change, people balk at your influence.

There are many Christians who have not experienced you deeply.  They do not speak about you so they do not cause division.  Help us to be at least passionate enough about you so that we divide opinions between those who are for you and against you.

Questions

  1. What did Jesus not come to bring?
  2. How can Jesus be called the Prince of Peace?
  3. How were people divided over Jesus through history?
  4. How would you argue against those who would say that belief in religion starts wars?
  5. When did someone react negatively to your faith?

 

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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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