Only Two Options

There is no middle ground; no neutral stance; no third way. We go with the Magi, to worship the Baby Jesus, or with Herod, to kill Him. We stand with John the Baptist, who honored Jesus as the Christ, or with Satan, who tried to deflect Him from the path to Golgotha. We walk with the four fishermen, who followed Jesus as Master, or with the Pharisees, who stalked him as prey. Indeed, Jesus made this solemn pronouncement after the Pharisees had ascribed the expulsion of a demon to the ruler of the demons, Satan himself. (12:24) Throughout Matthew’s Gospel, this theme recurs repeatedly, as we have already seen. There are the hypocrites (Pharisees) who practice their piety before men, in order to be seen by them; and the true disciples, who seek God’s favor alone. (6:1-18) “No one can serve two masters; … You cannot serve God and mammon.” (6:24) “Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. How narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (7:13-14) We build our lives upon the rock of Jesus’ teaching, or the sands of folly. (7:24-27) We take up our cross to follow Christ, and find life; or seek the “life” of this world, and endure eternal death. (10:38-39) The good tree bears good fruit; the bad tree bears rotten fruit, or none at all. (12:33) Our words will either build others up in faith, hope, and love, or they will be idle and ultimately corrosive. (12:36; Ephesians 4:29) We either redeem the time, or waste it. (Ephesians 5:16) Which will it be for us today, tomorrow, and always?