Oil and Water
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
2 Corinthians 6:14
Today, we enter into a new week that will be surrounded by Holy Week experiences for us. We will be reading and walking together the last week of the life of Christ before He is crucified on the cross. So I thought maybe today would be a good day to have somewhat of a chemistry lesson. Yes, I know that some of you read that and you are immediately turned off and done with this post today... But I need you to pause and take a moment and understand the concept of Oil and Water. Now, before we get into this, I want to preface that I am not using the text today to talk about what many people talk about in error with this text including myself in the past. We are not talking about dating relationships today. Today we are taking a step back and looking at the text through the context of what the Apostle Paul saw happening in the lives of the people of Corinth and the relationship between Jesus and the people during the last stages of his life leading to the cross.
First, the chemistry lesson..The first reason that water and oil don’t mix is because their molecules are packed differently. The molecules of water are packed very densely. In one glass of water, there are more molecules than the number of known stars in the universe!
This means if we take equal parts of water and oil, there will be more molecules of water than oil. This also means that it will always sink underneath the oil.
There is one more reason why they cannot mix with each other. Polarity. Polarity means a molecule is positively charged at one end and negatively charged at the other. Water is a polar molecule. Water molecules are made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom each. Since only opposites attract, the water molecules stick to each other. Polar molecules only dissolve in polar solvents. Similarly, non-polar molecules only dissolve in non- polar solvents. Oil is made up of non-polar molecules. It has a shell of negative charges, or electrons, surrounding the molecule. The oil molecules will ultimately stick to each other. Therefore, even if you stir a container with oil and water, they will eventually separate into two distinct layers.
So how in the world does that have to do ANYTHING with us as Christians and our relationship with the world. Pause... Here it comes. The struggle that Paul was having with the people of Corinth was the fact that they were new Christians that were set in their ways and continued to try to find a way to mix their new beliefs with their old lifestyle or cultural beliefs. Here is where the problem begins. When we become a Christian, we find ourselves more like the water molecules. We are charged by the working of the Holy Spirit that is inside of us and we are continuing to seek and search to find opportunities to connect with other people in a way to draw them closer to God. Opposites do attract and so in the understanding of polarity we are positively charged with the Gospel and our natural tendency is to seek out those who are negatively charged with sin and make a connection in hopes of changing their polarity. But what both Paul and Jesus was dealing with were people who were trying to mix their old lifestyles- OIL- into the new idea of how to live a life as a Christian- WATER.
As we see in Paul's letter, the people continued to want to mix their old religious customs with the new idea of Christianity where there was no possibility of mixing the two. The same was true with Jesus as He entered Jerusalem. The government and the religious leaders of their day were set in how they were living and did not want anything or anyone to mess up their system. Positional authority was huge in the life of the Jewish people and Jesus was offering something that was more dense and foundational than the historical beliefs of the religious leaders of the day. That is why there was so much conflict. Not that the leaders
doubted that Jesus was the Messiah, but the fact that this new way of thinking would completely destroy their livelihood. That's why the Pharisees and the Sadducees were always around because they wanted to hear and know what Jesus was teaching. When they tried to find a way to trip up Jesus and MIX up the people, Jesus simply stood his ground and showed them the TRUTH. His teachings were TRUTH or DENSE, and just like WATER, Jesus' teachings were able to settle in their place as foundational as the teachings of the religious leaders of the day were just surface and ritualistic at best.
There will always be a struggle when we step into the different concepts of good and evil, righteousness and wickedness, and light and darkness. The true struggle arises because we still to this day try to mix the waters. We try to find ways to mix a life of OIL in a life that should be sharing LIVING WATER to the world. It is so much easier to continue to live with our old habits that people have already accepted, instead of truly separating our selves from our former lives and seeking out ways to help others experience the positive connection of Christ. At the beginning of the week, the people were praising and crying out HOSANNA, HOSANNA, BlESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD. But later in the week, when the true realization of how they were gong to have to live a different life, one that would call them to change from their current position.. those shouts of joy quickly turned into a cries of "CRUCIFY HIM".
I hope and pray that we continue to desire to change from who we were before we encountered the LIVING WATER. I pray that as we take a step closer to the cross, grave and finally an empty tomb, we realize that we cannot settle for just accepting the morality of the world to be the measure of our faith. WE must continue to dig deeper into our foundational teachings and seek out those who are lost. We cannot MIX our beliefs and continue to believe that there is more than one way to get to heaven. There is not. I wish I believed that ALL roads get to heaven, but that concept completely destroys the message of God's message of the GOSPEL of Christ. Yes, ALL are welcome to the table, but we must realize who the MASTER of the banquet truly is. There is only ONE way and that is to accept, believe and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. No one spoke it more clearly than Jesus who said,"I am the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through me" John 14:6. There is no mixing of words there. There is no alternative meaning... This is the TESTIMONY of all of us that call ourselves followers of Christ. We are resurrected with Christ from death to life. I will follow the rules of the world because of their given authority, but my true teachings for my spiritual journey and eternal destination comes from God. I believe in the LIVING WATER of Christ and hope and pray that I will continue to help others move from living a surface level faith to a full desire to connect to the one true God.