September 4, 2014
READ: Luke 9:46-62
But Jesus said, “Don’t stop him! Anyone who is not against you is for you” (v.50).
My husband and I often must act as referees while moderating the differences between our two offspring. They focus on what makes them different instead of what unites them. We frequently remind the two that they need each other—something that’s hard for them to see.
The body of Christ is often recognised more for its divisions than its unity in Jesus. Whether the disagreement centres on denominations, philosophies of ministry or worship styles, the battles can be fierce.
As Luke 9 illustrates, the struggle isn’t a new one. While the disciples may have been trying to protect the integrity of Jesus’ ministry, their desire for distinction went beyond a passion for truth. Telling Jesus, “We told him to stop because he isn’t in our group”, they drew a line of separation Christ had not drawn (v.49).
Looking at this passage, we see an interesting pattern in the accounts. Notice verses 46-48 where Jesus redirects the disciples because they’re wrongly positioning themselves for importance. A little later on, they again take up the wrong view in wanting to call down fire on those who had rejected Christ (vv.52-54). Unlike other casual followers, the disciples were committed to following Christ (v.62). But their radical faith didn’t guarantee that their perspective always revealed the full picture (1 Corinthians 13:12).
We can’t compromise the truth of salvation through Jesus alone. But when it comes to the unity of believers, we must remember: His body was broken and His clothes were divided so that His church wouldn’t have to be (1 Corinthians 13:13; Ephesians 2:14; Colossians 1:16-20).
365-day plan› Luke 20:20-40
Read Numbers 11:16-30 and ask God to show you the times you’ve wrongly judged His work in and through others.
Who are some believers in Jesus you don’t want to be identified with? What is at the root of your issue(s) with them? When should we disagree, and when should we choose to defer in love?