Bringing Fire and Division (Lent 17-2019)

Luke 12:49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!  50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed!”

Beyond the disappointment and the pain of rejection, foremost among the things that grieved Jesus were being misunderstood…both His mission and His person as the Sent One of God.  And to add insult to injury, He was constrained in doing the final judgment until the important prior work of deliverance from that judgment would be accomplished.  That baptism into human death was required to be victorious over it.

 Luke 12:51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.  52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.  53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

What did they want?  World peace?  Dominance with compelled uniformity?  Equality?  Eradication of injustice?  A perfect world?  How misguided!  How mistaken!  Don’t they see that sin needed to be dealt with first? Oh, how much had the crowd failed to understand about His Word predicting His coming!  Worse, perhaps, was this height of human arrogance.  After all, they could easily see the signs of the times in other areas.  Why were they blindly missing this turning point of world history?

Luke 12:54 He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does.  55 And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. 56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time? 

Maybe they just didn’t want to see and couldn’t judge what was right because they were determined to be blind to the truth.  Maybe Jesus wasn’t seeking an answer to the question when He asked, Luke 12:57 “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?” 

Think about it: 

  • If someone doesn’t acknowledge what is right, how can he judge what is right? 
  • In our culture—indeed in our world—there is much division and a lack of genuine love of God and for the brotherhood of man.  How does a refusal to seek and believe the truth contribute to division? 
  • In what way is that fire testing the quality of each man’s faith? 
  • Seeking world peace apart from God—biblically speaking, is that even possible?

Thank You Father, for Your plan of salvation and its being finished prior to Your plan of final judgment.  Lord Jesus, we praise You for Your faithfulness all the way to the Cross on our behalf!  Thank You for the gift of salvation as a matter of Your grace, the gift of faith that is not from ourselves, and not a matter of our working our way to heaven.  Please Holy Spirit, continue to guide us into all truth so we might know it and believe it before judgment.  Enlarge Your Kingdom through our willing service to You.  Do this, Lord, for Your glory alone.  Amen.

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Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 25, 2019

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