Some have dramatic conversion experiences. Others cannot name the day and hour, but they came to Christ in early years without great excitement. These people sometimes are upset when in later life they hear some ex-convict relate a vivid conversion. Some, like Mr. Fearing in Pilgrim’s Progress, are all their lives afraid that they will not get to heaven. Says Alexander MacLaren: “There are none so far away from false confidence as those who tremble lest they be cherishing it.” And dear Alexander Whyte wrote to a troubles soul “Act faith if you do not feel it…..Throw yourself in His direction, even though you cannot reach Him….He does not say ‘See’…He only says ‘Look’….that is all you have to do with, He will take care of the rest….It is very simple-keep looking; He will take care of the seeing.” Christians of robust and rugged constitution have little patience with Mr. Fearing, and indeed he should not be afraid. But many dear souls are and they do not need a harsh “Snap out of It!” so much as the gentle counsel of that Scottish giant with the tender soul.
The Great Divider
So there was a division among the people on account of him.
Twice again John tells us of division because of Jesus (9:16; 10:19). A lot of pleasant talk about unity these days forgets that Christ is the Great Divider. He came not to send peace but a sword and expressly declared that He would divide families, so that a man’s foes would be they of his own household (Mt. 10:34-36). He divides hearts, homes, churches, humanity. No man can take a stand for Christ without a cleavage. If we gather not with Him we scatter abroad.
But not all division is on account of Christ. “Mark them which cause divisions…and avoid them” (Rom. 16:17). There are trouble-makers who delight in schisms. Be sure your division is on account of Him, not “them.”
But be not deceived by sweet talk about harmony that does not make Christ the issue. He is the sanctuary or a snare (Isa. 8:14) and there is no middle ground. Men fall on that Rock and are broken in repentance or that Rock falls upon them and breaks them in judgment.
He is the Great Divider, and He does not divide men horizontally-high class, middle class, low class-but vertically, to the right and to the left.