Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Matthew 10:34’

Jesus sword Mathew 10:34The atheist who posted this graphic online might be disappointed to find out that when I saw it, I felt flushed with gladness.

I love opportunities to reveal the truth about what Jesus of Nazareth (who many people believe is the Divine Son of God) was – and is – all about.

The “verse” referred to here is from one of the original source documents of Jesus’ physical life on earth. Not only is it dead-on accurate, it’s NOT, as the atheist supposes a Christian declaring, out of context.

But exactly what is that context?

I get the feeling the atheist believes it means Jesus came to commit violence, start wars, fuel the fires of ugly tribalism – you know, all the unpleasant deeds carried out by certain charismatic leaders (read: Osama Bin Laden).

But anyone who knows anything about the original source documents of His life will admit that nowhere does Jesus start or participate in wars. Nowhere does He kill even one person and nowhere does He even injure anyone slightly.

That’s right, not even tripping anyone (and goodness knows, there were a lot of people who intensely disliked Jesus and probably deserved to be tripped). In fact, there isn’t a single word in the original source documents about Jesus even touching a sword.

There is, however, a scene where one of Jesus’ followers cuts off the ear of a Roman soldier who was part of a nighttime posse that came to arrest Jesus on false charges. What did Jesus do? He healed the guy’s ear.

OK, so the whole atheist premise of this graphic is false.

But here’s what’s true: deciding to follow Jesus often does NOT bring peace – not at first. And following Jesus often divides, just like a sword divides.

Here’s the simplest example: when I decided to follow Jesus in 2002, it divided me from my biological family – none of whom follow Jesus.

And at the time, I felt anything but peace because they didn’t (and still don’t) understand what I’ve done and why. In fact, they don’t really want to know, because our culture tells them to never think about anything related to faith.

Jesus knew – and knows – that His way is NOT the way of the world.  Lose your life to gain it? Love your enemies and pray for them? Follow Jesus and get eternal life in Heaven?

All these concepts are poison to our culture, which insists that:

  • Enemies should be hated and trampled
  • The key to life is gaining possessions, power and multiple sexual partners
  • Wondering what happens to us when we die is stupid.

But maybe you’re at the stage of life where the trophies our culture offers seem…empty. Pointless. If that’s the case, then the way of Jesus is worth a serious investigation. Even if it divides you from family and friends.

Interested? Then post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

Read Full Post »

orange-gift-box1If you’ve read any of the material on Frank’s Cottage, you’ll know that I often refer to Jesus Christ – whom serious Christians believe is the Son of God – as God’s gift to anyone who is willing to accept Him.

What I haven’t written about is some of the things that could very well happen to you if you accept that gift.

If you’ve spent the majority of your life as a non-Christian, you’ll be challenged to change the way you think about almost everything. Your worldview simply can’t stay the same.

You’ll also need to become comfortable with mystery, because as much as we can know God through the Bible and through Jesus, much of Him will remain a mystery until we’re done with this life.

If you live in the Middle East or many parts of Asia, telling anyone that you’re a Christian could set you up for job loss, torture, imprisonment or violent death.

According to the The Pew Research Center, in 2013, Christians were penalized or harassed in various ways in 102 countries, more than any other faith group (Muslims were second, Jews were third).

If you live in the “developed world” (North America, most of Europe, Australia/New Zealand, some parts of Asia), you’ll be constantly exposed to behaviours and attitudes that are distinctly non-Christian.

You’ll find these behaviours and attitudes dominate your workplace, the media and the lives of most of your friends and relatives. Indeed, you unconsciously supported and participated in those behaviours. Now, if you’re serious about following Jesus, you must change.

One of the most significant changes will be how you think about people who don’t follow Jesus. When you finish with your life, you’ll meet God and He won’t see any of the wrong things you’ve done and right things you’ve failed to do. He’ll only see His Son’s perfection. But that will NOT be the case for all the non-Christians around you. What are you going to do about that?

If you’re the first person in your family (biological and extended) to follow Jesus, don’t be surprised that it creates a significant barrier between yourself and them.

In a section of the Bible called ‘Matthew’, Jesus tells His followers “Don’t think I’ve come to make life cozy. I’ve come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God.”

If you live in middle class comfort (like me), you’ll be constantly challenged by Christ to consider your lifestyle — how you spend your free time, the size of your house, the number of vehicles you own, how much time and money you allocate to charity.

Is all this serving to dissuade you from considering a life of faith in Jesus? Good. Because following Christ is not a hobby or a pleasant Sunday pastime. And He’s not interested in lukewarm “fans”.

Jesus wants to invade your life, make you the person God always meant for you to be, and have you serve as His ambassador to a world that desperately needs real hope — in this life and the life to come. And it’s a hope YOU will have if you accept the gift of Christ.

Are you ready?

Read Full Post »