Luke 12:35-59

The first section of this passage – the parable about the returning master – is sumarised neatly by the verses at either end. “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning” (v35) and “everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more” (v48). When Jesus returns, it will be bad for everyone who is not waiting for him, but worse for those who know a lot and are still ignoring his impending return. This doesn’t mean that I should stop telling people the Gospel ‘for their own good’, but preach it more and more, hoping that people will realise Jesus is coming back and will wake up.

Fire means judgement, and Jesus’ baptism is refering to his crucifixion and resurection (Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12). Jesus wishes that it were over, as he’s not looking forward to it but it is still why he came. How many people today would be surprised by v51. ‘Jesus came to teach some stuff and show people how to live a nice life.’ No, he came to judge, to split up families and will sometime soon burn up the world. That’s not the Jesus that our culture knows.

And given the prophecies that had been revealed to them (John the baptist, the virgin birth, the places of Jesus’ birth and ministry, his lineage, the coming of a second, greater David had all been prophesied) they should have recognised that Jesus being here meant that judgement was coming soon. He warns them to settle guilt before it’s too late. There will be a time when it is too late, and imprisonment is all that remains. Don’t be fooled by v59, “until you have paid the very last penny” – how can anyone ever pay off the debt of offending an infinite God? It’s a bleak picture.

Heavenly father, your judgement is terrible and awesome. I thank you for the sacrifice you paid so that undeserving sinners might be saved from it. Please help me to be ready for your return and to live in a way that will glorify you especially as I have received so much love from you in your sacrifice, and so much knowledge of you from your Word. Thankyou for that amazing revelation, and let it change me. Amen.

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