Jesus: Cause of Division?

I wish to thank Kabane for his comment and to say that at this point, I’m not, although I do understand someone is compiling my posts where I reviewed the book of John Loftus and who knows? Maybe sometime I’ll get around to compiling these together or maybe someone else would. My problem is I’m a terrible procrastinator. I think I’ll get to work on that next month.

We’re going to continue now our look at the Trinity. We’re almost through John 15. Tonight, we’ll be looking at verses 22-25.

22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. 23He who hates me hates my Father as well. 24If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’

It seems odd to many to say that Jesus brings division, but he certainly does. When Jesus comes, the lines are drawn. One is either for him or against him. He had come as the Messiah of the Jews and now the Jews had to make a response. Unfortunately, they made the wrong one.

Jesus does not mean that the Jews would have been sinless, but that they had greater responsibility, and I think this is a principle that holds up in Scripture. God understands some ignorance I believe as we see in the speech in Lystra in Acts 14 and to the Areopagus in Acts 17. It is worse to do wrong when you know the good you ought to do than when you don’t know it.

I’m reminded about this from talking to someone last night who was telling me that she didn’t believe that Jews would go to Hell for ignorance of Jesus. Well I don’t believe that either. I believe people go to Hell for their sins, but if ignorance plays a factor, God takes that into account and is a fair judge.

How will that work with those who’ve never heard? I can’t make a dogmatic statement either way, but I will make this statement and this is one I can easily rest in Scripture. The judge of all the Earth will do right. No one will be able to say “It wasn’t fair.”

The theme of the hatred of Jesus is quite strong. Jesus was this kind of personality. One either loves him or hates him. Once you come face to face with his claims, there’s no grounds for being neutral. He doesn’t leave that option. We must get past this image we have of Jesus that he was a kind and peaceful man. In some ways, he was, but he was also an iconoclast. He destroyed false images wherever he went and he did not care how old they were or who started them or who held to them.

This is also a strong claim in that Jesus is saying they hate the Father. The one they claim to serve by crucifying Jesus is the one that he says they hate. Once again, hatred of Jesus is hatred of God and if one treats him as anything less than who he is, then they are not showing love to him.

And yet, all of this is still seen as a fulfillment of Scripture. Rest assured, God is in control regardless of your response to Jesus. You can do what you want to him. You will not change him. You will only change yourself. You will become one who loves him and thus all other things, or one who hates him and eventually all other things.

The choice is yours.

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