The other day, I was reading from Luke 12: 51-52: “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.”
I thought to myself, “What a strange thing for Jesus to say.” But we know that we all like different things and think about things differently. For instance, we have different favorite ice cream flavors, we like to do different things in our spare time, or we listen to different kinds of music. We also can do “church things” differently. And sometimes people may even choose not to believe in Jesus at all, That is their choice, too.
Jesus meant even though He came to earth to love and save everyone from sin, some people would still decide not to believe in Him. That can cause division or disagreements among people — maybe even within our family or with our friends.
That choice is not what Jesus wants for us, but He gave us free will, so it is up to us and others whether they accept Him or not. It makes Jesus sad, and us sad, too, if anyone decides not to believe in Jesus’ love and grace.
This is one reason we should always tell others the Good News about Jesus, so they will choose to be on Jesus’ side. We can help others by being good examples of Christians and praying for them, as well.
Let’s pray. Jesus, we love You and want to follow You each and every day. We don’t want to fight with anyone over religion. Just help us to be good examples and tell others about Your love for them. Then they must choose for themselves. We pray they make the right choice. In Your name we pray, Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church.