” Every Kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”  Matthew  12:25

I don’t know about you but of the four primary math operations; addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, division was the most difficult for me.  I don’t know if it was the physical way it was set up; you have that kind of one walled house thing with numbers outside, inside and on top?  I could never remember what was the divisor versus the dividend and quotient.  Now don’t get me wrong, in terms of math I’m not a “divide-hater”.  In fact I love it when my bills are divided in half.  Yet outside of math; as Jesus Christ pronounces; division can be a devastating process or place to be.

Let’s first define terms or concepts about what Jesus is referring to.  First, and I love this, Jesus does not just limit this concept to something large like a “kingdom”.  No, he breaks it down into ever smaller entities to include “cities” and even a “house”.  What he’s referring to here is not the concept of numbers or of size per se, but He’s referring to places where you and I have relationships.  Second, what does He mean by “divided against itself”?  To understand this point you could use concepts like divided: purpose, goal, mission or even actions.

You see Jesus was casting out demons.  Demons are the laborers of Satan.  Their actions are based around the destruction of people by tormenting them and keeping them away from accepting the Grace of God.  Those forlorn humans, in such a state of harassment by demons were physically, mentally and most importantly, spiritually separated from God.  Thus a demon had to be defeated, cast out, overpowered before a human could come into a full relationship and follow God.  The Pharisees, the religious leaders of the time definitely believed in both demons as well as Beelzebub, their leader.  The Pharisees knew that no normal human being had the power to overpower demons.  Because, in their mind Jesus could not be the Christ, the Savior, the True Son of God, then the only other option must be that Jesus was overpowering demons by the being the most powerful; prince of demons.

Jesus, knowing what they are thinking, speaks an overwhelmingly powerful truth that resonates to us this very day; a house divided will not stand.  Why, in this case would that be?  Again remember the reason for the existence of demons plus their leader Beelzebub.  To torment humans and keep them from entering into a relationship with God.  As shown time and time again, a person freed from the torment of demons often turned to a relationship with God.  Thus if Beelzebub was casting out demons, just to bring glory to himself, the end result was human beings that were entering into a saving relationship with God which was exactly opposite of his reason for being; hence, the divide.  Jesus, of course quite correctly and accurately points out, over time Beelzebub’s power would come to an end because he would eventually free all to enter into relationship with God.  Beelzebub’s kingdom would come into desolation.

Let’s approach it from one other direction, this  time looking at the physical properties of a house.  A house is built on principles that will allow it to withstand the forces that can cause its destruction, like gravity, wind, rain, etc.  One aspect of these principles is the load bearing member or wall.  There are certain parts of the house specifically designed to hold up under the pressure of different forces to allow the house to stand.  Should you remove, break or divide that load bearing member it no longer has the strength to withstand the pressures arrayed against it and it collapses along with much of the rest of the house.

I’m hoping you’re seeing where I’m going with this.  I’m not one who desires to use extensive hyperbole and I do not have the historical research to state something like we live in the most divided time in history.  Yet I don’t think one could argue that we live in an extremely divisive time.  We divide ourselves along the lines of our ethnicity, gender, age, political beliefs, physical characteristics (weight, beauty), where we live, what team we follow, what we own, what religion and what sect within a religion we follow and I could continue to list our divisions for paragraphs to follow but I believe I have made my point.

I want to make something else abundantly clear; difference does not equate to division.  Just because someone is different doesn’t automatically require that they be divided from us.  No, division comes when those differences preclude us from seeing or acting together towards a common goal.  Division happens when the way that I am different must win over how you are different, which must in turn lose.  It is when differences become division that destruction will follow.

Jesus knew this for what was His goal; to bring about His own Glory, to see His own name worshiped?  No Jesus Christ had one earthly mission; glorify the Father by carrying out the Father’s plan.  Thus you see Dear Brothers and Sisters, Jesus Christ teaches us how to stay together.  We must seek after and find the overarching goal that is good for the entire house (family), city or kingdom.  We must submit ourselves to that goal and I emphasize the sub aspect in that any or all of our goals must be under and aligned with the overarching goal so that what we do brings strength to the structure versus destruction.

Would we really have such a contentious political environment if the goal was the success of all who are within our country and not just those with whom we feel a commonality with?  And perhaps greater yet; that our country’s success would not come at the cost of others in the world but lift them up as well?  If we embraced that a failure to part of our family, city, kingdom, our holy catholic, apostolic church (that is all churches proclaiming Jesus Christ the One True Son of God, our Savior) is a failure to us all; what would our world look like?

Where do we find that overarching goal?  In the Word of God; Jesus tells us: Love the Father, Love each other.  Finally, also if we only look to ourselves we will not find the strength to live into and align our goals with the Will of God.  We must pray for that strength. We must rely on the strength of Jesus Christ, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit by the Will of our Almighty Father to provide us with the strength we need.  It is together, first in relationship with our Father, then together, relationship with each other, that we heal the divisions amongst us and keep destruction at bay.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, through nature you have taught us the power to ward of destruction when things come together in unison.  You’ve also shown us the destruction that comes to those who try to go alone or in fragmented groups.  So it is that You want us to live with each other.  Forgive us Dear Father, when we divide ourselves among lines of earthly, worldly judgements that leave us prey to evil and the prince of darkness.  Pour out Your Spirit upon us and strengthen us that we would see the blessings and prosperity that come from submitting our will to Yours.  Through Your Divine Power, bring Your Church together into one entity that will testify to the world of the power of togetherness.  As You are Three in One; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, help us to live as one in the relationships You have blessed us with.  That in our triumph together we will live lives of praise to Your most Holy Name.  In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen