In the Gospel today, Jesus gives his listeners two choices: Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. This is in response to the accusation of some that he was casting out demons by the prince of demons and also as Luke tells us: others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven. This request for a sign was not only done once. It was done repeatedly. Despite the healings, the casting out of demons, the miracles Jesus did, the people, testing Jesus demand a sign from heaven. The word test is used here as well as in the Psalm: when at Meribah and Massah, in the wilderness, when your ancestors tested me. The incident mentioned here is when Israel asked Moses to give them water to drink. To which Moses replied: Why strive with me? Why do you tempt the Lord? When they asked Moses to give them water, the people forgot that God is the One who gives them water. Exodus 17:7 tells us: the chiding of the children of Israel and for that they tested the Lord, saying “Is the Lord among us or not”. Despite the signs the Lord did for them, they still complained about the lack of water and ask: Is the Lord among us?
This is similar to what some did to Jesus. Despite the signs and miracles, they still want more proof. We test God when we refuse to see him working in our lives, when we keep insisting God has to do what we say. Yet, we know God is God and we are not. We are the ones who should obey him and not the other way around. The people accused Jesus of driving out demons from Beelzebul and they kept asking for a sign from heaven because Jesus did not fit their idea of Messiah.
When we reject the way God works in our lives, we are not with Jesus, therefore, we are against Jesus. When we preach and teach what is contrary to what Jesus taught, we are also against Jesus. When we demand God do what we want, we are testing God.
The antidote to this is to submit to God. God allows us to complain to him, asking him to intervene, but in the end, we need to surrender and let him do as he will.
Lord, teach me to surrender my will to yours. Never let me test you, instead, give me a humble heart to let you do to me as you will. Jesus, I trust in you.