The knowledge to see a different path

Divergent has been our film this year for Lent, and for the first time, you can watch it when we come to Monday of Holy Week.  A future world has been torn apart by war and a small city society is trying to rebuild it.  You can only belong though if you know who you are.  Five groups known as factions were created to enable the society to work better together by separating people by personality.  Those who blamed the war on selfishness formed the faction Abnegation.  Those who blamed cowardice for the troubled world formed Dauntless.  Those who blamed duplicity formed Candor who see the truth as clearly defined in black and white – reflected in the clothes they wear.  Those who blamed aggression formed Amity to attempt to live in harmony.  Those who blamed the war on ignorance formed Erudite to educate themselves out of trouble.  We’ve looked at all the factions except Erudite.  Will greater knowledge save us from ourselves?  It might seem like a logical way to go.  Will knowing the whole story help us to build a better society?  There has always been a thirst for knowledge, and the time of Jesus was no exception.  The people wanted to know what was going on.  Jesus lays out the truth of what is going to happen to him.  Does this knowledge help the disciples with the future or not?  If you continue reading this passage from John’s Gospel we find out.  Answers to some questions always lead to a myriad of new questions, accusations, unbelief and then Jesus end the discussion with:  to paraphrase John, I didn’t come to judge you, but to offer you a way out of the mess you are in.  It is almost, accept it or don’t accept it.  You wanted to know, now you do – deal with it.
When Tris Prior left abnegation and joined the Dauntless her whole world is changed.  She is offered new knowledge her whole society seen from a different perspective – all the factions – and knowledge about herself.  Who she is, how she fits in. And why do the rest of the society find her dangerous!  It’s the same question we might have for Jesus as we approach Holy Week and Easter.  Why did the society find Jesus a threat to their way of life?  Why were his words so damaging and worrying for the authorities – so much so that they plot to kill him?  Why would a message such as his be seen as something that might destroy life as it was known?  It is of course the same problem as any society.  Offer those in power the option to share that power with those who do not have it and they will put up a struggle.  Show how one group of people are disadvantaged over another and those who are set to lose their position will complain.  Stand up for those who do not have a voice in society and you will be challenged for supporting scroungers, sinners or the unworthy.
Not only does Tris Prior give up her family and all she has known in joining Dauntless, she gives up her whole life as she has known it.  There is no going back to her old life, there may not even be a place for her in her new chosen faction.  The alternative is to live as an outcast, to be despised by the rest of society.  Will she make it through the training, will she be able to become a member of the society or will she chose another path?
Jesus asks us to let go of the world and to follow his pathway – one which will take us into conflict and into confrontation with the rest of the world.  Our society, generally, does not like equality, it likes winners and losers.  Our society does not like to lift up those who are weak, it seems to prefer to support the strong, those who will help themselves.  We have the knowledge to see differently, to see the way Jesus was life and to be able to support everyone where they are, for who they are no matter what.  Jesus begins to come into confrontation both with his disciples and those who sought to discredit him.  Next week on Palm Sunday as the great power struggle really gets going, we see Jesus join the faction-less.