Read Luke 12:49-52
49 “I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning! 50 I have a terrible baptism of suffering ahead of me, and I am under a heavy burden until it is accomplished. 51 Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other! 52 From now on families will be split apart, three in favour of me, and two against—or two in favour and three against. (NLT)
We live in a world where all sorts of rules and laws warn us against offending others. It is getting to the point where it is very hard not to offend someone. It seems some people are only too willing to adopt ‘victim’ status because someone somewhere said or did something that offended them.
It is certainly fair enough not to be offensive, and it is right that our legislators adopt a framework that helps us live at peace with each other. Christians sometimes feel hard done by as others do and say things that offend their faith. And others are offended by what Christians say and do. It is a minefield of competing rights and responsibilities.
Which makes us wonder how Jesus would have fared in our world. He was in no way offensive by nature but, as our text makes clear, his message caused division and offence. Would he have been summonsed before some tribunal and cautioned for disturbing the peace? If so, it may well be he would plead guilty.