12:49 “I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!
12:50 I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed!
12:51 Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!
12:52 From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three;
12:53 they will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
12:54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘It is going to rain’; and so it happens.
12:55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens.
12:56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
Christ here is referring to how He came with the message of the Gospel and was met with great opposition. Not everyone believed in Jesus and He was met with blatant rejection. This passage is also referring to the fact that when it comes to our role of spreading the Gospel that it will not be easy. There will be persecution and it will come in many various forms. Whether it be our reputation being put on the line, loosing a friendship over our faith or even our very life, the message of the Gospel will not be accepted easily.
Our world does not welcome the news of us being sinners and in need of a Savior. He addresses the fact that why is it people are so easily persuaded by things such as rain approaching or the sun bringing heat but not something as profound and powerful as the message of the Gospel? The truth of all these things is just as real and there is either going to be those who accept it or reject it.
Jesus came to this world to save sinners and to pay the penalty on the cross for our sins. That is the hardcore truth and is the only truth that matters today. Regardless of the opposition we face, let us continue to keep on spreading the message of the gospel and trust that God will work in ways to break the hearts of those who hear it.
Jesus had 12 very devoted disciples but it’s fair to say that they were not good at discerning Jesus’ mission. In Luke 12 Jesus appears to be saying that he is going to bring discord on the earth and that He is going to cause people to behave in a way that is un-Christ-like. However, I want to submit that the context of the passage be kept in mind. Jesus is referring to the strife that will occur because certain people will hate and reject the gospel. They will mock and scorn those who are saved. He said to the disciples that they will be hated because Jesus was hated first.
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. (John 15:8)
You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matthew 10:22)
The sword of division that Jesus is bringing is not because he want’t people to be unhappy, it’s a result of the gospel being rejected and hated. Remember that this world is the devil’s kingdom. It is only natural that the forces of evil will reject those who are fighting for the kingdom of God.
[Featured image from tworiversblog.com]