We are a Body of people, a church that seeks to live more fully based on Scripture. The Word of God is our source of how we think and how we act. Now more than every, let us anchor our lives to God’s Word. When we look at a passage like this bit of Luke, what are we looking for? Truth! When we find God’s truth in Scripture what do we do with it? We commit to live by it, learn how to live by it…We let it change the way we think, feel and act.
Today’s Passage: What does Jesus Christ say about how God’s eternal saving grace is dished out? What does Christ say regarding salvation along family lines? Is the eternal division of family members a Biblical reality, whether we like it or not? Is our lifespan determined by our actions or by God’s sovereign providence? Can you take all the time you want when responding to God’s offer of saving grace? Serious questions… in the Scripture we find clear and understandable answers. Last Sunday the text in Luke 12 ended with this statement by Christ:
When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required. Luke 12:48b
Luke 12:49-59 & 13:1-9
49 “I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished!”
- The fire He casts is the outpouring of God’s Spirit, indwelling Christ’s followers
- This is His mission! To buy us back from hell through His sacrifice on the cross
- He wants it to happen ASAP… but He will be obedient to the ‘Plan’
- His ‘Baptism’ (what He will be immersed in) is paying the price for OUR sin!
- Jesus knows what He will face and it weighs on Him, but it doesn’t deter Him
51 “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 52 For from now on in one house there will be five divided, 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 her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
- What He is going to do, Cross & Resurrection, makes some eternally different
- God in His providence will grant eternal life based on HIS grace, not family
- Christ speaks directly against universal salvation
- Because some will be indwelled with God’s Spirit and some not, it will divide
- He is exhaustive in His examples to show it will divide regardless of relationship
54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. 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?”
- We have intellect, information & experience we combine to understand things
- He calls them hypocrites (Actors) because they act like they don’t get it
- He is saying; ‘You have the info, now respond’ (Surrender)
- Why don’t they know how to interpret who He is? The problem is PRIDE!
57 “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. 59 I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny.”
- What keeps us from seeing what is right / God’s offer of eternal life in Christ?
- Instead of admitting our guilt and humbling ourselves we want control
- If you see it as ‘Your’ life to do as you wish you will face judgement
- If you hold on to your life you will surely lose it. (parable looking at eternity)
“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” ~ Jesus @ Luke 9:24
1 At that very time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple. 2 “Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?” Jesus asked. “Is that why they suffered? 3 Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God.”
- Some sort of announcement of a current event,
- Jesus disconnects everyone’s time to go from everyone’s actions
- Perishing: the end of this life without an eternal relationship with God (context)
- We all will ‘Parish’ = eternity apart from God without repenting & turning to God
4 “And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? 5 No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too.”
- 2nd example of why people die & how we should perceive God’s providence
- Those who know God & those who don’t will be mixed together, even in death
Matthew 13: Parable of the wheat & the weeds. The divide between the ‘repentant’ and the ‘perishing’ is the indwelling of God’s Spirit.
6 Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. 7 Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’
- You could be a fig tree in God’s garden, brought there by HIS providence
- God has an expectation that you will produce fruit (kingdom living & purpose)
- The Man & the Gardener are God speaking within His Triunity
- There has been a certain amount of patience with this tree ‘taking up space’
8 “The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. 9 If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’”
- God in His grace always gives more chances than any of us deserve
- But those chances do have a predestined end to them, based on God’s will
- Are you a fig tree in God’s garden? Where are you in the process described?
Jesus was both humanly anxious and divinely resigned to accomplish His mission.
Christ’s work on the cross will bring about division in families because of God’s Spirit.
Now that the Gospel has been revealed, we are to respond.
Humility is the only way to escape judgement.
None of us know when we will die, we have a closing window to get ‘right with Christ’.
God is patient, but not infinitely patient, at some point the patience ends.
How might you better practice humility before God in your relationships?
How do you react to God’s providence when it is not what you would prefer?
In what ways are you accountable to respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ today?
How can you do more of what God requires of you based on what you have been given?