Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Disunity in the Body





Scripture

And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand.
(Matthew 12:25 NASB)

 

Observation


The Pharisees struggled with Jesus because he did not fit their paradigm of the Messiah. Not only did he not meet their expectations, but he seemed to have a different attitude toward the Law. For them the Law had become a legalistic and rigid way in which to live their lives. They fought for and defended the Law on a regular basis. Jesus viewed the Law through a different lens; through the love of God. When the Law was viewed in a relational manner (Love God -- Love your neighbor) it changed everything. The Pharisees could not see this and were sure that he was going to destroy everything and complained that he must not be from God, but rather from Satan. Jesus knew what they were thinking and tried to help them see that he was not being destructive to the kingdom of God. Jesus was working daily for his Father in heaven and while his tactics may have been different, he was not being divisive.

 

Application


We seem to live in a world where people thrive on being divisive; within society and within the kingdom of God. Has there ever been a time when the United States has been so partisan? We seem to paint one another with incredibly broad brushes -- literally painting people into one corner or another with nothing in between. We do the same thing spiritually. It seems that if people cannot align with us identically in terms of doctrine, that we feel that we have to move them out, or that we must move out, and the result is that we continue to divide the kingdom of God. The result is a weaker kingdom because just as Jesus said, "any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste."

Followers of Christ, members of the kingdom, have a serious responsibility on a daily basis. We are to pray that we will be "one" -- Just as Jesus and the Father are one! That's what Jesus prayed and we must as well. We must work so that the enemy does not come in and divide us against one another. That is what he truly desires and he will work hard to deceive us into believing that our "righteous indignation" is the correct attitude that we should have. But that's not how Jesus told us to respond. We are to live as humble servants before the Lord, seeking the face of God on a daily basis. We must pray for unity within the kingdom of God and we must reach out to our brothers and sisters who are also of the faith. We may not always agree doctrinally, but we must join hands and move forward together to bring the good news of Jesus to our world. Otherwise, what message of hope do we have to bring to a hurt and dying world? Jesus came and healed the sick. He is our model. We are to help heal the sick and the wounded. We must be a model of the healed for those needing healing.

Pray for unity within the body of Christ for we cannot be divided against ourselves! These are troubling days and we need to stand united, hand in hand, and show the world that being a follower of Jesus Christ is the best answer to the problems of our day. Our job is not to correct those around us, but to seek the face of God, and in seeking his face, to be a reflection of him to a needy world. If all of God's followers were making this their priority, the world would be changed by what they saw!

 

Prayer


Lord, may I seek you today in all things and may I be an instrument of unity in the body of Christ. Amen.

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