Tuesday, October 5, 2010

De-bunking World Peace

I don't think we appreciate how much Jesus was a "rebel rouser" in his day because we do not understand the culture he was born in to. There were whole sections of Palestine that had fallen away from Jehovah worship and radicals that had risen up to defend this worship. In defending it they had gone to extremes and had become known as the Pharisees. They were the great defenders and police force of the Mosaic law. They tried to bring balance to the teachings of the Sadducees who taught a watered down, worldly version of the Mosaic law. The Romans found the Sadducees much easier to deal with and so often chose the leadership from this group. There were also the extremist, called zealots, who just wanted to kill anyone who wasn't a Jew.

This is what Jesus was born into, grew up in and entered into ministry with. Crowds may have flocked to him to see the miracles but his teaching, the proclaiming of the good news cut across all these groups. He presented just how far they were moving away from the one they were claiming to worship and then the truth of how they could enter into a real relationship with Jehovah. He stirred the pot with almost every word he spoke and challenged the various teachings of the day to take a serious look at themselves.

Jesus never presented any illusions about the great concept of world peace. The only peace that could ever exist is if every heart was possessed by the Holy Spirit. As long as man is in rebellion to his Creator how could we expect peace on this planet? As long as you want to do your own thing how could you expect to have peace in your life? Jesus made it clear that he had not come to make it better, but instead, simply by his presence, things would become worse:

"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn
   " 'a man against his father,
      a daughter against her mother,
   a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law -
      a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'" (Matthew 10:34-36)

I am a father of 9 of which four of the children live with me. The one thing that gets on my nerves is their petty fighting. They will fight over the least significant thing, like who sits where in the van, who can count to ten the fastest, who ate breakfast in the least amount of time, who finished their homework first, who had the greatest amount of homework. It is enough to drive a man crazy and it is all because of the selfish nature. Without Jesus it is this nature that often drives us, motivates us, encourages us to do the things we do. Accepting Jesus will change our heart but it will not change the world we live in. It is still self-centered and petty which means that accepting Jesus often acts more like a divisor than a means of unity.

It can be a hard thing because when we accept Jesus we want the whole world to discover this beautiful thing but the whole world wants to be left alone. The whole world wants to do its own thing and doesn't want to hear about the "good news" which would cause it to change course. Even though our motivation is love and acceptance, forgiveness for past wrongs and a desire to see people healed and full of joy, the world shoves us away. They look at us as weird, not one of them, separate in action and perspective. They misunderstand our words and find us to be condemning and unpleasant. Instead of the name of Jesus being received as the greatest name spoken, it brings up ugly feelings and emotions from people. Speak the name of Jesus and ears close, hearts are locked away and veils drop over the mind.

We are foolish to think that Jesus and his Church have come to bring peace. Does darkness think that the arrival of the sun is a good thing? Or does it hate the light because it is pushed into the shadows? People do not want to hear the truth of their condition, they want to live in their illusions, and they hate the Church for proclaiming the truth. We are to be rebel rousers just like Jesus, always stirring the pot with the truth. What peace exists is the peace between us and our Creator but there can never be peace between the light and darkness. As far as it depends on you ether should be peace but the darkness hates us and so no peace will exist. This is a hard thing to understand especially between family members and relationships of importance, but it is the fact as explained to us by Jesus. Understand the times to which you were born, take a look around and see why they react like they do. But do not stop sharing the good news, do not stop operating in the light. Jesus told us to go to the world, so go we must with the message of hope, love and forgiveness. There is healing in the words we speak but do not fool yourself into thinking you will be surrounded by peace. The world hates us as much as it hated Jesus.

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