If you go to Barnes and Nobles, you may find, in the 50% discount section of the store, a book entitled, “The Two Marys – The Hidden History of the Mother and wife of Jesus.” Authored by Sylvia Browne (New York Times #1 bestselling author), I flipped through the pages of this heretical book and was disgusted that someone would claim to have this hidden knowledge, especially two thousand years after the fact. In other words, we are to believe that a woman, who never met either Mary except in her dreams, knew more than the Apostles who had Mary under their roof?
“Whoever is not with me is against me.”
Do you notice that Sylvia does not claim Mary has the Mother of God? She is not a believer. She only claims to have the scoop! And yet, she cannot allow herself to believe in the ultimate truth: Jesus is Lord. He is God. The truth is, the greatest story ever told cannot be great! It must be reduced. Christ cannot be God; the stale argument goes, because God cannot be God. He must be something else, anything else, but not God since he is an illusion, a figment of our imagination or as Scrooge pointed out, the result of a bad cup of soup! And yet, our Lord goes beyond our wildest imaginations! We could never come up with a story like this! No one ever did. Mohammad never confused himself with Allah, nor did Buddha with his philosophy, Look to my philosophy of life, not at me. Moses never claimed to be YHWH. So why on earth would Christ’s Apostles get it wrong so soon, so uniquely? Unless…Christ is not from the earth but begotten from Heaven.
The Pharisees are pulling out their hair by pulling the thinnest of arguments against Jesus. The new claim against Jesus is simply ridiculous. He is evil. He drives out demons by being a demon, or He is evil for doing what is good, right and holy. So now The Lord is bad for being good. Is this not the original temptation set before man? Sin has turned people upside down. It’s good to be bad, and it’s bad to be good! Ask any teenager, and they will agree - this is the way it is. The foundations of the world have been turned upside down.
How long must the Lord put up with criticisms that have no foundation! And yet Christ makes his case very clear, and his answer leaves no doubt for anyone who wishes to hear: “If you are not with me, then you are against me.” If you do not allow love and forgiveness, compassion and mercy to rule your heart, then you are not with me. Who am I to judge anyone? Who am I to condemn anyone? Do I pray for my enemies? Do I pray for those who hurt me? Does the love of God command me to stop doing what is spiteful, to stop actively participating in evil? Do I walk away, as the Lord did, from those who wish to harm me? “He walked right through the crowd and went on his way” (Luke 4:30).
The fall of man began a long dark winter for all of us. Religion is not for ignorant and superstitious. No, it is for the “meek and humble of heart.” “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts!” (Ps 95:8) In the old days, we had to turn away from facing God, lest we die. Christ changed all that. Turn your face to Him, not your back (cf. Jer. 7:23-28).