In the days leading up to the cross Jesus’ teaching became alarming to his family. It was so disturbing his mother and brothers attempted an intervention. When they arrived to try to “talk Jesus down from the ledge” Christ used the occasion to teach the crowd about eternal relationships. He said, when you are obedient to God’s will you’re part of his household.
Earlier Jesus had set the tone for this, teaching that when you choose to follow him there would not only be opposition from the devil and this world’s selfish system, but it would divide families as well. In this case it started with Jesus’ own family.
Sadly enough, it’s that way even in the church family.
There will be many fewer people attending Good Friday night services in the land than Easter morning. That’s because the cross, sin, darkness and death are, quite frankly, downers! Who wants to dwell there? It hardly fits with our sanctified view of what many people want in a God.
We prefer resurrection morning, lilies, new dresses, white shoes and hats, and a stirring choir presentation at church – that’s Easter, right? Oh, and don’t forget those wonderful family gatherings for dinner. Easter brings us together….
Now, don’t misread this – I love resurrection morning, but you can’t get to the empty tomb unless you go first to the cross and death and pain and darkness.
And that’s what Jesus meant by dividing people; you don’t get to be part of the Father’s household without doing the Father’s will. For Jesus that issue was settled, and expressed in Gethsemane:
And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. Mark 14:36 (KJV)
It is in bending your will to the will of the Father that makes you Jesus’ brother.
A popular thought I have heard throughout my life is: follow your heart. Well, that’s a good thought for a believer, if your heart is surrendered to the will of the Father.
Where is your “heart” telling you to travel today? To what are you giving your allegiance? Does the pathway your heart desires create an intervention?
Is it an intervention against the cross? Or are you allowing the cross to intervene in your will and choices?
This is not an issue for a believer to stand on the sidelines and watch.
Nevertheless…not my will….can you pray that prayer?