In Luke 11:23 Jesus made two very direct black-and-white statements that I’m sure I read before, but I never fully absorbed the implication of the statements. Following are the statements Jesus made. I'm using the Christian Standard Bible translation. Here they are:
- “Anyone who is not with me is against me.” And if that isn't radical enough, Jesus then says the following:
- “Anyone who does not gather with me scatters.”
Jesus then went on to contrast Satan’s power, who would not have cast out his own demon, and God’s very much superior power in bringing about good for the demon-possessed person.
So what was Jesus trying to get across to his listeners with his very direct black-and-white, sobering statements?
First of all, about the fact that anyone who isn’t “with” Him is “against” Him? And then comes the clincher for me, with my interest in evangelism, but who feels very inadequate at best to gather souls toward Jesus. It’s the statement Jesus makes that anyone who isn’t “gathering” followers to Him, is indeed “scattering” them.
So let me reiterate by paraphrasing. Here it is: "If I'm not actively spreading the gospel in an attempt at gathering people toward Jesus, then Jesus said that I am actively scattering people away from Him."