“Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.” (Luke 12:51)
Jesus is not afraid of tension. People were divided in their ideas about Jesus during his earthly ministry … and not much has changed since. Jesus and his lordship are confronting. If he is who he says he is, everything changes. If God has truly sent his own Son to save us from our sin, then there is sin to be addressed in our hearts.
The way we live our lives has to change. For some, this conviction is something they cannot be bothered with or dare to confront. This division Jesus describes is the division between darkness and light, goats and sheep, sin and self-indulgence and the self-sacrificial path of love.
Our natural inclination is to avoid tension at all costs, but sometimes, it is necessary. Without tension on guitar or violin strings, there would be no music. Without Jesus, without his sacrifice on the cross, there would be no option of salvation. The only trajectory would be sin and destruction.
Division exists because Jesus offers the better way; the only alternative to the wages of sin is real life in his kingdom. Of course, the ideal would be that everyone knows and loves Christ and that sin is no more. We will experience this, but not here on this earth.
While we are here, we must accept that the world does not know him. We live in the tension of the “already” and “not yet” of the kingdom of God. Praise God that he has not abandoned us to our sin and destruction but that his own Son underwent the baptism of pain and suffering to give us a better way through this life.
Lord, I thank You for sending Your Son to free us from our lives of sin. Grant us the strength and wisdom to accept Your holy gift. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.