Summary: when division comes, it could be Jesus just showing up.
Luke (12:49-57) Friendship Baptist Church-8-19-01
Proper 15-Year C
“The Division Within”
We know we have a good thing with Jesus. We know that being born again and becoming a disciple of Christ really can’t be beat. Many of us understand this by just looking at what our life use to be before we allowed the Lord to take over. We see the rough places made plain and the crooked places made straight. We feel good about ourselves and we want to share the gospel and the good news with all that we come in contact with.
We feel good about ourselves because we have something. We have something that’s everlasting to everlasting. We have something that the world can’t give and the world can’t take away. We have something, that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present or things to come can take away from us. We have something that make us laugh when we want to cry. Make us get up when we want to stay down. Make us run when we are tired. Makes us strong when we are weak. We have something, that makes us believe the impossible, move the immovable, see the invisible, and help change the unchangeable. We have something that keeps us together when the raging storms of life blow our way and that something, for the disciple, is a true personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s true discipleship. It’s totally sold out on Jesus and not only the name, but also the personhood of Jesus.
For you see, the disciple is much more than an admirer. The disciple not only sings songs for and about Jesus. The disciple not only worships Jesus. The disciple not only says nice things about Jesus. The disciple isn’t just able to quote scripture and pray on que. The disciple is a follower of Jesus. The disciple discerns and puts into practice the teachings and examples of Jesus. The disciple not only practices her or his faith, but also lives her or his faith. And once you become a true disciple of Jesus, your life will truly change.
People will start to treat you differently because you will be different. You will act differently and you will feel different. Places you use to go, you won’t go anymore. People you used to hang with, you want hang with anymore. Things you used to say, you won’t say anymore. Things you used to do, you won’t do anymore. Because when you are bitten truly by the “Jesus bug”, you are now moving closer to God, which, by the way, automatically provides opposition along the way.
I know we usually talk about the benefits and the so-called “good stuff” associated with being a disciple of Jesus. The warm feeling that you have knowing that Jesus is with you and Jesus is a friend to the end. Knowing that Jesus will never forsake you nor leave you. Knowing that Jesus will not only forgive you of your sins, but cleanse you of your bad habits as well. Knowing that the only thing we have to do is to come to him just as we are, we too can be accepted into the family of believers.
However, there is another side to being a disciple. This is by no means an easy job. This thing we call discipleship isn’t an easy road to follow. For you see, when we give our lives to Christ and become totally sold out to him, both in word and deed, we will face consequences, challenges, and concerns. We quickly learn that everything won’t go our way and sometimes the road will get very tough. In doing our service to and for Christ, in working for the kingdom of God, we will be met with some opposition. Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 10:22, “and you shall be hated among people for my name sake”. In other words, when you truly go out in my name and do some kingdom work, some major kingdom building, get ready for some opposition.
As long as you sit back, do and say nothing, everything is all right. But I dare you to have an opinion. I dare you to stand up and say “I feel God is leading me in this direction”. I dare you to say that you are going to trust God and put it all in Jesus’ hands. I dare you to start discerning what the Spirit would have you to do and to say. Just start doing that and problems will start to arrive. All of a sudden, like Nehemiah, you will have some Sandballots and Tobiahs around trying to knock you down.
You will have Sandballots around trying to tear up whatever you are trying to do. You will have Tobiahs around knocking you at every turn. You will have Sandballotts around, questioning your motives and integrity. You will have Tobiahs around, spreading gossip and lies about you.