Sunday, August 14, 2016

Fire and Division

Judah Ben-Hur: He gave me water, and the heart to live. What has he done to merit this?
Balthasar: He has taken the world of our sins onto himself. To this end he said he was born, in that stable, where I first saw him. For this cause, he came into this world.
Judah Ben-Hur: For this death?
Balthasar: For this beginnning.

This week's gospel comes from Luke 12:49-53. The majority of the passage is as follows:

Jesus said to his disciples: "I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three..."

I can imagine some big double takes in the crowd as Jesus spoke those words. The shock value carries thru to today. Here is the Prince of Peace stating that he has come to divide the world. Even families would split. How does it square?

Christ came into the world to deliver Truth. He knew that many did not want to hear Truth as it conflicted with their views of the world. Moreover, there was a large group of people who had a vested interest in lies and deception. The message of Truth would upset the Establishment and its idea of proper 'social order.'

Jesus realized that the 'baptism' for his efforts would be death, as the division that he would foster would ultimately cost him his life.

Of course, he could have sought to be politically correct. He could have toned down the rhetoric and done things to keep him in good standing with the Establishment. Had he done so, however, he would not be able to generate the tension necessary to open eyes to the Truth.

Had Christ opted for political correctness, the world would have been lost.

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