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The Smell of an Enemy

We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. —J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Is the indwelling Spirit of Jesus enough to unite us when confrontation threatens to divide?

Some would say maybe not. After all, division has happened all around us: the Anglican, Presbyterian, and Methodist churches have all split down the middle as they’ve argued over homosexuality. Hop into the blogosphere and observe believers ripping into each other in the comments section.

I might say, “Inhale deeply. Can you smell a wolf among the sheep?” Our enemy seeks to divide, but the Spirit unites. What we need to know is this: Where is the starting point of peace?

John 1:14 tells us, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Full of grace and full of truth. That is where we start, where we end, and where we dwell in between the beginning and the end.

Now, I know it doesn’t say “full of grace and full of truth.” But in Greek, full grammatically qualifies both nouns. It’s difficult to imagine, as most of us lean more toward one than the other. Because of this, our conversations take an either-or approach. We lean toward grace, or we lean toward truth.

But Jesus? He was completely full of both. Not an ounce of His personality or interactions with others lacked this completeness of grace and truth. Think about that.

This “full of grace, full of truth” man indwells us, and in Him, we can navigate this minefield in unity.

Jesus, perhaps I’ve imagined grace and truth a bit like a Venn diagram—two circles that overlap a little in the middle. Sometimes I stand in the grace circle, sometimes, I stand in the truth circle, and other times I stand in the middle—in a mixture of grace and truth. In reality, grace and truth is the same circle. May Your Spirit fully express both through me always. Amen.

Learn more from Pete’s teaching on Luke, What Will Jesus Do?

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