The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 50

The Ministry Continues ~ Part 14

We continue our study of The Ministry Continues, beginning in Luke 12:49.

Not Peace but Division

49 “I have come to set fire to the earth! And how I wish it were already kindled!

Fire. Primarily the refining fire of holiness and the ultimate fire of judgment against sin (compare Isaiah 66:24; Malachi 3:2–3; 1 Cor. 3:13–15; Rev. 19:20, 20:14–15). Secondarily a fire of hostility between unbelievers and believers (see below in verse 53).

50 I have an immersion to undergo—how pressured I feel till it’s over!

This immersion involves Yeshua’s total identification with sinful humanity. He bears our sins and their punishment, in keeping with Isaiah 53:6, “Adonai has laid on him the iniquities of us all.” He thus becomes a sacrifice for our sins, giving up His very life and immersing Himself into death, paying the death penalty we owe for our sins “like a lamb brought for slaughter” (Isaiah 53:7).

51 Do you think that I have come to bring peace in the Land? Not peace, I tell you, but division!

Yeshua is not to rule in glory at His first coming; He is not at that time to fulfill the Messianic prophecies of world peace, e.g., “They shall beat their swords into plowshares …” (Isaiah 2:4, Micah 4:3). For this reason, He will bring … division: some will acknowledge Him as Messiah, while others will not so that families will be split down the middle over this issue (vv. 52–53).

52 For from now on, a household of five will be divided, three against two, two against three.

53 Father will be divided 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 her mother-in-law.[1] ~ Luke 12:49-53

Interpreting the Time

54 Then to the crowds, Yeshua said, “When you see a cloud-bank rising in the west, at once you say that a rainstorm is coming; 55 and when the wind is from the south, you say there will be a heatwave, and there 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? ~ Luke 12:54-56

Once again, Yeshua speaks differently to the crowds than to His talmidim (vv. 22–53). To His own talmidim, He entrusted information about His ministry and about how to obey Him in a manner reflecting their already existing commitment to Him. His only task with the crowds was to awaken them to their need to commit their lives to Him, to become talmidim. As with the preceding sections, this one is oriented toward the final judgment.

Settle with Your Accuser

57 Why don’t you decide for yourselves what is the right course to follow? 58 If someone brings a lawsuit against you, take pains to settle with him first; otherwise, he will take the matter to court, and the judge will turn you over to the bailiff, and the bailiff will throw you in jail. 59 I tell you, you won’t get out of there till you have paid the last penny! ~ Luke 12:57-59

This section parallels Mattityahu 5:25–26, part of Yeshua’s teaching about anger in the Sermon on the Mount. Here, Luke incorporates the same material into Yeshua’s teaching about the final judgment.

In our next post, we will pick back up in Luke13:1. Hopefully, we will complete the section on The Ministry Continues to concentrate on Teaching Through Parables.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Micah 7:6

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