“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
(Matthew 12:30 ESV)
In yesterday’s passage Jesus unequivocally stated that there are only two kingdoms: the kingdom of God (which He represented) and the kingdom of Satan. The Pharisees had tried to attribute Jesus’ miraculous healing power to Satan, but Jesus explained why this could not be logically so. Therefore, Jesus concluded, He must be working under the power of God. More than that, He must be God [Matthew 12:22-29].
When it comes to Jesus there is no middle ground. A person must be with Him, otherwise that person is against Him. Notice that it isn’t necessary to oppose Jesus to be against Him. It is only necessary to not be with Him.
This is hugely important. Many people claim to be neutral when it comes to Jesus. But here Jesus tells us that is not an option. There are only two camps: those who are with Him and those who are against Him.
I once took a course on the Roman Empire at Stanford. The teacher was excellent. She really knew her stuff. But when it came time to discuss Jesus, she called Him “an itinerant preacher”. Likewise many people refer to Jesus as “a wise man” or even “a prophet” (as Muslims do). But while all these statements are to some extent true, no one can validly stop there when it comes to their opinion about Jesus.
Not being one of Jesus’ followers means that you are one of Jesus’ enemies.
Additionally, when it comes to the work Jesus is doing – to gather people to Himself to take them to heaven – anyone who is not actively participating with Him is actually scattering people – leading people away from Him.
These words would not only be applicable to non-believers such as the Pharisees, Muslims, and atheists but also to Christians who are not helping to build the kingdom of God by teaching others about Jesus. There are many people who are children of God, saved by faith [John 1:12], who spend their lives living for the things this earth has to offer. These people will go to heaven. But Jesus says their lack of participation is actually harming others by not pointing them to Him.
Notice that one does not have to be intentionally working against Jesus to lead people away from Him. It is man’s natural tendency to want to live apart from Jesus. Therefore, if His followers don’t actively participate in gathering people into His kingdom, people will not come into His kingdom.
Anyone who is not actively gathering people into God’s kingdom is actually leading them away from God for all eternity.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.