[Jesus said] “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.”
The Way Jesus Divides
The well-known Christian author C.S. Lewis once commented that being a follower of Jesus is not like a horse training to jump better and better. Instead, it’s like turning a horse into a winged creature. The point Lewis makes is that sometimes people think that becoming a Christian will lead to a few small changes in their lives. But in reality, being a Christian is nothing less than a transformation.
Becoming a Christian is not like adding a backsplash and changing the paint color in your kitchen. It is a full demo—it means stripping everything down to the studs and starting over. That kind of transformation is sweeping and dramatic.
Jesus knows that this kind of change will impact families and relationships. It’s a transformation that will sometimes cause division because Christians no longer conform to the pattern of the world; instead they conform to the pattern of Christ. That type of change means leaving behind sinful situations and temptations. It may even mean leaving family members who reject Christ and mock his followers. When some family members follow Jesus and others do not, divisions will naturally arise.
Jesus’ goal was not to divide families. His goal was to divide people from their sins. Jesus came to separate us from our selfishness. He wants to split us from our guilt and shame. Jesus promises that all who believe in him will be divided from their sin and united to him instead. This good news really does create a transformation in people.
This transformation might mean division for a time on earth, but it also means a far greater peace has been achieved between God and us. Jesus took it upon himself to unite us with God so that we are no longer just his creatures but his sons and daughters. Because of Jesus, we will have peace forever in God’s family.
Dear Jesus, help me to bear the divisions that come from following you. Thank you for your great sacrifice and for uniting me with you and all believers forever. Amen.