Luke12: 51-59Written by kathleen on Jan 26, 2014 in - No Comments
Almost every morning I check the Weather Channel..
I know that forecasting the weather is sometimes mostly a guess even when the weathermen sound pretty sure about their forecasts. In our passage of scripture today after talking about bringing fire on the earth, Jesus talks about forecasting the weather. He comments that the Jews were pretty accurate in forecasting weather, but they weren’t as good at observing the current spiritual conditions and interpreting the spiritual climate.
We have the same problem today. When you learn of a severe storm warning, or a hurricane warning you’d better pay attention. Just as we should all pay careful attention to these three spiritual storm warnings Jesus gives. Jesus is going to share three very important spiritual truths in this passage, which we’ll call weather warnings
51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. 52 For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and 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.”
Here’s the first weather warning: I.DEVOTION TO JESUS MAY ALIENATE YOU FROM OTHERS!
Jesus is known as the Prince of Peace and when the angels announced His birth they said, “Peace on earth, goodwill to men.” So, you may be surprised when, Jesus says, “I did not come to bring peace, but division; or as Matthew 10:34 records a sword.”
He wasn’t speaking of a literal sword and literal bloodshed, because He told Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane to put away his sword. Jesus was simply stating the truth that He calls people to live a life of such radical commitment that His followers will be rejected and ostracized from others causing a division. If you choose to live the Christian life in this world, people are going to “cut you off” from their circle of friendship, because you live by a different set of rules than they do.
This division can occur on a couple of levels: Perhaps there are some of your friends or family who say, “Do you really believe Jesus is going to come again, that you’re going to be raptured up to heaven? You’re crazy!”
In other words, the Gospel is going to bring a division between those who believe and those who reject Christ. And even in households there will be a division between those who are a part of the kingdom of God and those who are not. That is the division between the believers and non-believers.
We divide people into many groups, but Jesus divides them into only two. When He spoke of a family of five being divided, they weren’t divided into three groups, or four groups, or as five separate individuals, but into two groups. Jesus said it would be, “two against three, or three against two” or He could have said “four against one.”
Actually, the words of Jesus are so radical they divide people into just two groups. He said there are only two eternal destinies: Heaven and Hell. .
Jesus doesn’t intentionally divide families or groups – He just understands that will be the inevitable result when people choose themselves which of the two groups they will join.
Some of you today know the pain of this separation first hand because you live with someone who is not a Christian. Or you have parents or children who are not believers. You know the real pain of being called a fool or fanatic by your family members. You may say, “I thought Jesus came to heal and restore families, not divide them.” He can and will when you have a husband and a wife a child or relative who has surrendered to Jesus. Jesus is the super glue that will hold the marriage or relationship together whatever happens when each person surrenders to His Lordship
Unfortunately some people have the idea that Jesus is the great uniter of the world’s people, and that Christianity is a wonderful ethical system that will produce a one world family where everyone lives in peace and harmony with each other.
Groups like Ba’hai and the Unity Church share this basic premise that says there are many legitimate ways to God; You can go through Jesus, or you can go through Buddha, or Mohammed, or you can just formulate your own do-it-yourself spirituality, but we will all end up happy and accepted by God, whoever God is to you.
That’s not what Jesus taught in the Bible! He said there is only one way to heaven and it was through Him. He said, “I am the way, the truth, the life, no man comes to the Father but by me.” (John 14:6).
There’s a story about a family that has happened many times: John and Mary worked hard to provide for their three children. Matt was a senior in High School. Ruth was a sophomore and Scott a fifth grader.
They were a loving family, but they never attended church.
At the dinner table one night Ruth mentioned one of her friends went to a big youth rally at a local church and now she was very religious.
Her friend at school told her Jesus is the Son of God and salvation was free. She had given her a copy of the gospel of John. Ruth was troubled because she didn’t really know what she believed.
Her older brother, Matt, said, “I don’t wanna talk about any of that religious stuff during supper!” John agreed. He said some religious nut at work was always talking to him about “being saved.” And he didn’t want it talked about in his home. Well an argument soon broke out. Mary said, “Well, we could do with a little religion around this house! Maybe we would be a little nicer to each other.
If Ruth wants to check it out, I think we ought to let her.”
She told Ruth she went to church some as a child and teenager, but dropped out during college, but after dinner she would help her look through the little book she had been given. Little Scott chimed in and said, “Maybe we ought to go down to that church and check it out. A lot of my friends go there every week.” So after supper, Matt and John headed for the TV and Mary, Ruth, and Scott sat around and read the first three chapters of John. Mary said, “If you want to go to church this Sunday, I’ll take you. Maybe we can talk with the preacher about this.” They did go to church and spoke to the pastor after the service.
They found the people to be friendly, and soon the three of them were attending every week–while John and Matt stayed home and made smart remarks about the religious fanatics in their family.
Mary was troubled about her life and her eternity and committed her life to Christ. Ruth and Scott soon did the same thing. When she told John, his response was not encouraging. A few weeks later, she lost her temper and John was quick to point out that, “he thought Christians were nice and sweet” so much for her “being saved.”
Matt continued to make fun of Ruth and Scott. As the weeks past, it seemed the family only became more and more divided over this issue. So how does the story end? For the fairy tale ending: John and Matt would come to Christ and the family would be united and live happily ever after.
For the Harlequin Romance ending: Mary would decide her love for John was stronger than any other love, and she would renounce her religion and throw herself into his arms.
But Jesus said the ending is often different. Families are often divided when a person commits his or her life to Christ; and that is to be expected! We are still to be an example!
The second weather warning is: II. PAY ATTENTION TO GOD’S SPIRITUAL FORECAST! 54 Then He also said to the multitudes, “Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is. 55 And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is. Sort of like when our southern winds start to blow; we’re going to have some hot weather. But then He says, 56 Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?
In Jesus time, as well as today, you can often predict the weather by walking outside and checking the sky. Although they were good at predicting the weather by observing the conditions, they were clueless about understanding God’s spiritual climate; and that’s the tragic mistake people make today!
We can put a man on the moon, but we don’t know what in the world is going on. Scientists can tell us how to get to the stars, but not how to get to heaven
So while our understanding is expanding technologically we are left in the dark spiritually.
Although the scientists of Jesus’ day weren’t able to send men to the moon, they did indeed study the skies and in so doing, they became adept at predicting the weather, but inept at understanding the climate of their times.
You see, they should have known their Messiah was among them, Micah 5:2 declared He would be born in Bethlehem—and hadn’t a so-called King been born in Bethlehem thirty-three years earlier? That was so intimidating to Herod that he ordered the annihilation of all boys two years of age and under!
They should have known their Messiah was among them when people began to imply that the Rabbi from Galilee was conceived illegitimately, Isaiah declare centuries earlier that the sign given would be that a virgin would conceive and bring forth a son (Isaiah 7:14)?
They should have known their Messiah was among them, for the people of Israel had been enslaved in Egypt for four hundred years before a deliverer named Moses was raised up to lead them into the Promise Land.
And now, after four hundred years of silence following the prophet Malachi, a guy in the form of a locust-eating Baptist came on the scene pointing to the One who would lead them not into the Promised Land, but all the way to heaven!
No wonder that before He rode into the city to present Himself as King, Jesus looked down on Jerusalem and wept, “O, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, if you would have known this is your day”
That would be the day prophesied by Daniel in chapter 9 which stated “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks” Daniel 9:25a
It was on March 14, 445 B.C. that Artaxerxes gave the order to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. And exactly 173,880 days—483 years later to the day on April 6, A.D. 32 Jesus rode into Jerusalem.
No wonder He said, “You should have known this is your day.” Even though you can discern the skies and the earth; you understand these things but you don’t understand the most important thing. This is the 483rd year, the time for the Messiah to be revealed! In other words, the Lord expected them to know that the time for the Messiah was coming. He was there and they missed it
But before we are too harsh on the Jews 2,000 years ago, let me ask you how good are you at understanding the spiritual signs? Jesus said it is possible for us to understand the “sign of the times.” Are you tuned in to God’s Spiritual Weather Channel?
There are over 1,000 scriptures predicting the events of the Second Coming of Christ. The Old Testament says: Someone is coming. The gospels say: Someone has come, and His name is Jesus The Epistles and Revelation tell us: Someone is coming again so get ready! If we pay attention to the winds of what is happening in our world today. The Bible says in the last days, perilous times will come. When you turn on CNN and see the tension around the world you know a storm is coming.
let Don’t anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. 2 Thess 2:3-4
Israel is a nation again, May 14, 1948 and efforts to rebuild the temple are for real. The main Jewish group leading the charge to rebuild the temple is an organization called Faithful of the Temple Mount
In Israel, there are students being trained for the priesthood, learning how to conduct animal sacrifices in the rebuilt temple and conduct services.
The European Community is unstable with their unification and turning to an anti-Christian religion; economics are unstable as the euro is loosing its value.
The stage is set for a political and economic “superman” to arise, the sort of single political leader who will lead a world-dominating confederation of nations (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12, Revelation 13:4-7).
The world wants – and needs – a superman badly, and is ready to fall in love with a human personality like never before.
There is a longing for another strong leader who will lead nations and bring a stability and peace.
Our own American culture is just as frightening; History shows that nations with millions of people can be induced to worship a person – like Lenin, Stalin, or Mao. This shows us just how strong a personality cult can be when the government gets behind it wholeheartedly.
The stage is set for the kind of false religion the Bible says will characterize the very last days with a Babylonian influence (2 Thessalonians 2:4, 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, Revelation 13:11-15, Revelation 17:1-6).
Society is becoming more spiritual, yet less Christian every day; there is a deceptive fixation on signs and wonders as proof of the truth, as well as the church’s willingness to imitate the world also leaves church goers open to deception.
Efforts to make a one-world religion are gaining momentum all the time, under the idea of “open mindedness.” The Michigan Episcopal Diocese voted on the resolution of scripture “Jesus is the Christ, the only name given under heaven by which we may be saved.” The scripture was rejected as being “flawed,” “divisive,” and “demeaning.”
The stage is set for the kind of economic system predicted for the very last days (Revelation 13:15-17). The technology is available, and the need is present.
As we see the growing animosity of the Muslim World against Jews and Christians, it is time for us to understand that all of this is part of God’s prediction of the last days.
Our world currently has the technology for a one-world economy with a one-world government by simply registering with an invisible bar code on the hand or forehead of people. There is a wind blowing and we should pay attention to the political and spiritual climate. The Lord expects us to know the times of His coming again. Dooms Day Time clock!
When we see the earthquakes and the pestilences and the famines, and the falling away from the pure teaching of Gods Word as well as the Apostle Paul telling us in You may as well know this too, that in the last days it is going to be very difficult to be a Christian. 2 Tim 3:1-7
We should realize that we are getting close to that hour and we need to be watching and be ready as servants who are prepared to immediately open the door to welcome the Master when He returns.
A storm is coming–but don’t worry! Jesus is our shelter in the storm and as the storm clouds are gathering, they will also bring showers of blessings, seasons of refreshing from the Lord.
There is also a fresh wind blowing. The Bible predicts that in the Last Days, God will pour out His Spirit our sons and daughters will proclaim God’s Word, young men will see visions and old men will dream dreams! Joel 4:28-29
Let me give you the spiritual forecast based upon what I see in the Word and in the world.
I believe we are going to see a continuation of the rise of evil and godlessness–but we are going to also see a parallel movement of God that will be unlike anything this world has seen since Pentecost.
There has never been a better time to be a sold-out –All In Christian and part of a Spirit-filled church. And as we see these two parallel developments, our world and nation will become more and more divided over Jesus. The middle ground will disappear until there is nowhere else to stand; you’ll either have to be ALL IN for Jesus or be among those who openly reject Him. Pay attention to the spiritual weather conditions. If you aren’t right with God, don’t wait. God’s storm warning has been issued and you’d better prepare. Here’s God’s message to you: “I tell you, NOW is the time of God’s favor, NOW is the day of salvation. (II Corinthians 6:2b)
Today is the day you need to receive Jesus as your savior For the believer: It is time to say “Jesus, I’m tired of being a defeated, lukewarm follower. Set my heart on fire!”There is one final weather warning: III. SETTLE YOUR CASE WITH GOD OUT OF COURT!
57 “Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right?
58 When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle with him, lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison.
59 I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite.”
Jesus isn’t talking about lawsuits with one another; He is using a parable to communicate the importance of being reconciled with God.
The Message V 57-59: “You don’t have to be a genius to understand these things. Just use your common sense, the kind you’d use if, while being taken to court, you decided to settle up with your accuser on the way, knowing that if the case went to the judge you’d probably go to jail and pay every last penny of the fine. That’s the kind of decision I’m asking you to make.” This warning is not about paying a few dollars to someone you owe; it’s about getting right with God.
It’s about making Jesus Lord of your life it’s about allowing his holy fire to set you apart and being All In for Him.
It’s about living a life separate from this world system and demonstrating His love towards others by sharing your faith for the furtherance of the Kingdom
Pay attention to the spiritual weather climate.
Do you understand the times? God is up to something, and it’s time to settle your salvation case out of court!
It’s time to obey Jesus. It’s time to walk in the Spirit. It’s time to be an active part of the Body of Christ–His Church.
It’s time to catch fire for Jesus!