(Part 28)


March 12, 2015

Today’s gospel:  Luke 11:14-23

Jesus says, “Whoever is not with me is against me” (v.23a). There is no middle ground. You are either with him or against him. Now we might say, but I am not against Jesus. Well, if you are not fully for and with him, then you in effect are against him, by default. If you are not striving to be fully his disciple, then you can only get in his way and end up disrupting the work he desires to be done. If you are not solidly in his camp, then you become among those who are within the sphere of influence of the enemy.

What are some ways by which we might consider ourselves as not against Jesus, but in effect we are?

* When we do not strive to wholeheartedly accompany him along the way, which is the path of holiness.

* When we are lukewarm in our faith.

* When we look to comfort and convenience in our service, rather than facing the hardships and difficulties that come with it.

* When we dissent from the community vision and mission to the point of causing conflict and disunity.

* When we fail to support our work with our financial resources, in effect depriving our community of much-needed resources for mission.

Now Jesus further says, “and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (v.23b). As those who are with Jesus, we become his servants. We become instruments of his will. We are among those workers who are to bring in the rich harvest. We help gather the lost sheep. But if we do not gather, then we in effect scatter, that is, we are complicit in the continuing scattering of God’s flock.

Indifference, inaction, lack of zeal, lack of commitment — all these cause us ultimately to drift away from Jesus.

And so, to be with Jesus and to be among those who gather, we need to be united in vision and mission. We are to be of one heart and mind, desiring only what Jesus desires, and doing only what he directs us to do.

The stakes are high. It is about salvation. It is about eternity. The enemy is powerful. We need to preserve our unity. Otherwise we fall prey to the evil one. “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house.” (v.17b).

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