Holy Week Message, part 1: Division Because of Jesus
"On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt. These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him." John 12:12-16
A DIVISION BECAUSE OF JESUS
In the days when Christ was here on earth there was a division among the people because of Jesus. There was even a greater division after His death and resurrection in the days of the Apostles. There is a still greater division in the world today because of Jesus.
Let us read the following Scriptures...
“Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? So there was a division among the people because of him.” John 7:41-43.
“Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.” John 9:16.
“There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?” John 10:19-21.
“Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.” Luke 12:51-53.
“He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.” Luke 11:23.
In the John 7, from which chapter we quoted the first Scriptures, note the statement concerning the division because of Jesus:
“AND THERE WAS MUCH MURMURING AMONG THE PEOPLE CONCERNING HIM: FOR SOME SAID, HE IS A GOOD MAN: OTHERS SAID, NAY; BUT HE DECEIVETH THE PEOPLE.” John 7:12.
“Much murmuring”, “Some said”, “Others said.” And you know this is still going on today. Who were right, the some who said or the others who said? Some said, “Christ is a good man.” Others said, “Nay, Christ deceiveth the people.” Note in Matthew 27:63 that the “others” continued in their attitude toward Christ, “Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.” Matthew 27:63.
To them Christ was a deceiver. To them Christ performed miracles by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, here note Matthew 11:19, “The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.”
They called Him a blasphemer, because, being a Man, He made Himself God. John 10:33.
Today intelligent Jews join with Christians in declaring that the LORD Jesus Christ was a good Man. How good? Better than all the rest. There was a time when prejudiced and ignorant men declared that Jesus of Nazareth was deluded. They said He was not mentally sound, therefore, He made some false claims. But today, intelligent Jews, Christians, and non-Christian Gentiles are all agreed that Jesus Christ was the most intelligent man that ever lived on earth, as well as the greatest human benefactor that the world has ever known.
What is the verdict then? The “some” who said, “Christ is a good Man,” were right. How about the statement of the “others”: “Nay, He deceiveth the people”? Did Christ deceive the people? If Christ really deceived the people, did He thereby prove that He was a good Man? In other words; could a man really be both a good man and a deceiver, especially if he continues month after month, and year after year, to deceive the people?
From the beginning of His earthly ministry until His death, and again after His resurrection, the LORD Jesus Christ claimed that He was God manifest in the flesh, that He was in the beginning in the God-Head, that He came down from heaven, that He had glory with the Father before the world was. Christ received worship as God. Christ proved His claim to Deity by His supernatural power, by His miracles, ACCORDING to the Scriptures.
If Christ declared that He was God from the beginning, that He had glory with the Father, that He came down from heaven, and if He really was NOT what He claimed, then surely He deceived the people. Such a deceiver could not be called a good man.
So, we must decide by common sense logic that Jesus Christ was both God and good, OR, He was not God and good. The Modernists who have crept unawares into the Christian church are far more inconsistent than were the Jews who took up stones to kill Christ when He was here on earth. They stoned Him, “because He made Himself equal with God.” John 5:17-20. In John 19:7, we learn why they had Christ crucified. Because He claimed equality with God.
Pay attention, the foolish MODERNISTS who have slithered in among church members, join with religious Jews in expressing great admiration for the man of Galilee, and dote much on the ideal Man, Jesus, with His ideal philosophy and His interpretation of God and true religion. They eulogize Him, quote Him, praise Him, and preach Him to Jews and Gentiles. But with all this they ever SEEK to make Christ, the Holy Spirit, and all the Apostles, LIARS, by saying that Jesus was a very good man, but that He was not born as the Bible declares He was born; that He did not come down from heaven; that He did not have Divine authority to forgive sins. He was not God, the Son. He was not God’s foreordained sin-bearer. His body was not raised from the dead. He is not now the resurrected Jesus at God’s right hand, as the Bible claims. And, that Salvation is not by Faith in the shed blood of the LORD Jesus Christ, but by character, by good behaviour, by actually imitating Jesus, by trying to live up to the RELIGION of Jesus. THIS is an ABOMINATION to God, and contempt for Christ!
Surely you and I agree that these pretenders, who call themselves Modernists, are only Christianized agnostics. They are far less consistent than were the Jews, who in the first century also denied the eternal Deity of the Son of God, and took a decided stand against Him, declaring that He was worthy of death.
Note this law of the Jews in Leviticus 24:16, “And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.” If Jesus Christ was not God, as He claimed time and time again, were not the Jews right when they said to Pilate, “Then Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.” John 19:7? Leviticus 24:16 was the law to which the Jews referred when they spoke the words of John 19:7.
Even the thinking Jews today believe that Jesus Christ was too good to have been a blasphemer. They should accept Him then as God: for God He was. Remember what Thomas said when he was fully convinced “And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My LORD and my God.” John 20:28. Christ did not say, “Thomas, you are mistaken. I am a very good Man, but I am not LORD and God.” He received the worship. And remember His own words in Luke 4:8, “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the LORD thy God, and him ONLY shalt thou serve.”
The pseudo-Christians claim to believe in the historical Jesus. The historical Jesus is the Bible Jesus. So when they decide on the authority of the Bible Record that Jesus was a good man, they must, if intelligent and consistent, acknowledge that by the same Record He was and is God. “JESUS CHRIST THE SAME YESTERDAY, AND TODAY, AND FOR EVER.” Hebrews 13:8. “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Colossians 1:17.
Note again Luke 12:51, “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division.”
Look all about on every side, and see not only nations, cities, and communities divided because of Jesus, but families. If we could only know what is going on in homes where some members of the household are for Christ and some are against Him. Yes, there has been, and there is, a division among the people because of Jesus.
In the eternal ages there will be a division among the people, because of Jesus. Some will spend eternity with the LORD and His redeemed in glory. Some will be in perdition suffering the sorrows of the second death. Christ declared, “he that is not with Me is against Me.” Luke 11:23.
IS CHRIST DIVIDED?
“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our LORD Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:10. “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” 1 Corinthians 3:3. “For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it” 1 Corinthians 11:18. “That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.” 1 Corinthians 12:25.
Note God’s will; that there should be no “schism”; no “division.”
What a pity! Christ’s Church so divided that the Apostles asked “is Christ divided?” Since that day divisions and subdivisions have increased, until today there are more than 300 branches of the Christian Church. The LORD said, “that there be no schism (division) in the Body.”
Ephesians 4:3-7, “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One LORD, one Faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given Grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ”
Now, take a look at Romans 12:4-5, “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”
Then note again Christ’s prayer in John 17:21 and John 17:11, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou host sent me.”, AND, “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou host given me, that they may be one, as we are.”
ONE NEW MAN
When we believers reach heaven perfect unity will prevail, and there we shall learn that God’s purpose in this age is expressed in Ephesians 2:15, “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace.”
One in Christ. In one Body of which Christ is the Head. Again note Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Now look at 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been made to drink into one Spirit”
As the unbeliever looks on and beholds the division, sectarianism, and lack of unity among Christians, he is asking, “Is Christ divided?”
THE OMNISCIENT CHRIST: I KNOW MY SHEEP
“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:14, and John 10:27.
We read these words in 1 Timothy 2:19, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The LORD knoweth them that are his. And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
The LORD knoweth them that are His. The good Shepherd knows His sheep. He said, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:11, and John 10:15. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John 10:27-28.
The LORD Jesus knows who is saved and who is unsaved. But God wants the believer to KNOW that he is saved, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; THAT YE MAY KNOW THAT YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 1 John 5:13.
We read something more about Christ the Shepherd in Hebrews 13:20-21, “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our LORD Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” And in 1 Peter 5:4, “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”
So we learn that the LORD Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd, the Great Shepherd and the Chief Shepherd.
In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. BELIEVE today. The time is short.
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide.
Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
LLM - Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20)