Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Faith Causes Division

18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus [1] to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” (John 9:18-23 (ESV)
Jesus says he doesn’t come to bring peace but a sword. This is what he is talking about. The Christian faith is divisive. It isn’t because Christians want to force everyone around them to be Christian. At least they shouldn’t want to be forcing this. But it is because the world hates Jesus, the world hates forgiveness, the world hates its own creator. So division is caused and the world nay says. Sides have to be chosen. People are awakened to see, and the world does not rejoice. It persecutes.
This man has been given his sight. But no one can be happy for him. The Jews are ready to kill him for it because he says Jesus did it. Then they don’t want to believe he had just received his sight, so they want verification that this is the man who used to be blind. They go find his parents. The parents admit that it is there son, but they aren’t willing to believe him themselves. Division is caused before the man’s eyes, his sight gets him disowned. His parents won’t take his side for fear of being kicked out of the synagogue, for fear of being ostracized by the community. They throw their son under the bus. “He is of age, ask him.” And the father drags the son before the synagogue. “You confess Christ if you want, I’m too much of a coward to defend you.”
We see it today often enough. People afraid to follow where truth has led them. It might mean losing a husband, stepping on the toes of parents. I’ve often witnessed that it is easier for a Mormon to just quit going to ward meetings than start attending a church. I try to be understanding, patient and loving in these situations, to give a foretaste of faith in Christ. But there is a reality that if you love your mother or your father more than Jesus, you are not worthy of him. This man has no reason to love his parents more than Jesus. Jesus gave him sight, his parents are going to throw him under the bus. You really have to wonder if it is any different where others are concerned. If your parents can’t support you, can’t still love you even though you are Christian, is their love worth it? No, nothing is worth forsaking the love of Christ who died on the cross to atone for our sins that we might have eternal life.

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