Belief divides some believe, some don’t
Belief divided the crowds
When Jesus spoke to the crowd in Jerusalem at the Feast of Booths there were different responses.
He is a good man.
He is leading the people astray.
He is demon possessed.
He is the Messiah. (John 7:10-31)
These responses are very similar to what C. S. Lewis talked about is his Trilema where he contended that Jesus is either a Liar, a Lunatic, or the Lord.
Belief called individuals out from groups
The religious leaders as a group rejected Jesus and played a key role in his death. Jesus reached out to them as a group and individually. Some of them concluded that Jesus was the Messiah and identified with him. Nicodemus came to Jesus privately and defended his right to a fair trial before the council. Joseph and Nicodemus provided a tomb and proper burial for Jesus after he was crucified. (John 3:1-15; 7:45-52; 19:38-42)
Near the end of Jesus’ life these issues intensified
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead many in the crowd believed that he was the Messiah. However, even after seeing the power of this miracle, some who saw it did not believe but quickly told the religious leaders what had happened. The leaders responded by plotting to kill Lazarus as well as Jesus. (John 11:38-46; 11:47-53; 12:9-11)
We should not be afraid of the divisions
When Jesus taught about being the Good Shepherd he told the crowd that his sheep would hear his voice. He wasn’t worried that there would be no followers. His sheep would hear his voice. (John 10:1-21)
Leaving the results to God
When I joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru). I was asked to memorize a number of things and one of them was the following principle. “Evangelism is sharing Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.” The Gospel is accepted and it is rejected. We need to remember that this was true when Jesus spoke and it is true today.
What choices have you made that have separated you from others close to you?
How do you deal with rejection when you try to serve others and are rejected?
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