People often try to shoehorn Jesus into today’s popular view that, really, all beliefs are basically the same. But to think Jesus fits that bill is to interact with an imaginary Jesus. If you want to know the real Jesus you have to confront how his tough teaching truly divides, only to make a real difference.
All Are Welcome to Worship
Services start 9:30 AM on Sunday mornings at Live Oak Elementary School.
This week we’ll see Jesus divide for from against. Jesus had the stubborn habit of making radical claims about his identity and backing them up with a remarkable life. We cannot only admire Jesus, nor can we shrug him off. His identity leaves no middle ground, his work leaves no one untouched.
This week we’ll see Jesus divide in from out. Many people of Jesus day thought a loose association with God kept their standing secure, but Jesus reveals that a closer connection with God is required. To enter the door to his kingdom is impossible when we try on our own, but when we enter through Christ we find that we find welcome.
This week we see Jesus divide the humble from the humbled. There are few more obvious hallmarks of our culture than the constant clawing for positions of power and influence. We all want to matter more than those around us. But Jesus has a practical teaching on humility that flows from an ultimate perspective only the Son of God can offer. Humility isn’t just a nice way to live, it flows from the truth.
This week we see Jesus divide love from hate. Few of Jesus’ words were more radical than the call to leave everything — yes, everything — in order to follow him. But his words are about more than giving something up for a time. Jesus is asking us to fundamentally reorient our life, which is far more difficult than we might think. Nevertheless, to do so brings the freedom of love rightly ordered.
This week we see Jesus divide found from lost. Jesus’ opponents considered his association with sinners to be an unacceptable moral compromise. But far from compromising God’s moral standards, Jesus called those lost in their ways to a new way of seeing life — and they welcomed him to the table nonetheless.
This week we see Jesus divide God from money. Few things offer themselves as substitutes for God than money. But Jesus uses a parable to dislodge our allegiance from the balance in our account and gains in our portfolio. To be shrewd with money is better than being strictly sensible.
This week we see Jesus divide winners from losers. Simmering behind the scenes of the entire ministry of Jesus was the ancient battle between good and evil, God and Satan. But this battle is not some eternal cycle that endlessly repeats, but a story with a genuine beginning and triumphant ending. Jesus wins the day and brings us the spoils of victory.