The divisive Jesus
You’ve probably seen the paintings of Jesus as he comforts people, reassures them, and appears like a Nobel peace prize candidate. A fitting picture for Valentine’s Day, right? But have you seen the painting of the divisive Jesus? I just saw it earlier this week.
In our Big Read project we’ve been reading through John’s account of Jesus life. And in chapter 9, after healing a blind man, Jesus makes this comment:
For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind. (John 9:39)
As with other bold statements of Jesus, he makes it clear that people will HAVE to make a decision about him. They will either acknowledge who he is (and who they are), or they will choose to deny him as Messiah (and make a statement about themselves in the process). The person and mission of Jesus will be divisive. You can see it in Jesus own life. Some saw the miracles and believed. Some saw the miracles and ran off to report him to the authorities. But everyone had to make a choice. Jesus was, and continues to be a divisive figure.
Here’s what I believe. When it comes to decisions, relationships, habits, words, actions, and values, Jesus will be divisive. He will divide everyone into one of two groups. He will force you to pick one way or the other. Either you’ll believe him, or you’ll run off and report him to the authorities.
So as you continue with us in the Big Read, be prepared for Jesus to force you to choose. I hope you choose wisely. Because only then do you really experience the Nobel peace prize Jesus that we’re all so desperately looking for.