Fire to the Earth

Have you really reflected on the significance of what our Lord said in Luke 12:49-53? When one thinks about it, it is rather startling what point He makes. Note the following points: 1. Jesus came to send fire on the earth, 2. Jesus came to bring division on the earth, 3. Families will be divided. Let us consider these three points.

First, Jesus came to “send fire on the earth” means, as illustrated in the following verses, that He came to bring division. It is not that He wants people divided, but He demands decisions to be made. What is the “fire” under consideration? Apart from a decision that is to be made, it pertains to judgment; one man says it refers to the purging and division Jesus causes.

Second, Jesus came to bring division on the earth. In light of what was just said, we can understand this clearly enough. It does not make it any easier in application, but we can understand it. Does not the Scripture tell us we are not to be divided? It does (1 Corinthians 1:10). In that particular context, Paul admonished the Corinthians to align themselves with and under the banner of Christ. Those who refuse to do as much separate themselves from the love of God, thus bringing about division.

Third, families will be divided. This is the crux of our application, I would say. Family members play important role in each person’s life, though sometimes that roll is not a pleasant one. The family’s influence can be great. When one gets to a point in life where a decision is to be made, and the family, is against that decision, what is one to do? In matters that pertain to God’s righteousness note what Jesus said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26, ESV).

What is Jesus’ point in all this? He said to His disciples that He is the way, the truth, and the life; no man will go to the Father, but by Him (John 14:6). Jesus’ point? Why do you call me Lord and do not the things I say (Luke 6:46).

That which is valued will be pursued, but that which is valued can cost much; if one values the wrong thing that cost can be eternity. RT