We Have a Decision to Make (Luke 12:49-13:9)

“I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, 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 daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

54 He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. 55 And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it 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?

57 “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled to him on the way, or he may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”

13            Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

8 “ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ ”

Learn it:

            This section of Scripture is intense.  This is a side of Jesus that some people like to ignore.  We see that Jesus came to bring division because when a person decides to follow him it may mean that they will be rejected by their family (12:49-53).  He knows they can predict the weather and now they have to look at his ministry and decide is he the Son of God or just a teacher (12:54-56)?  He then goes on to warn them that they are all indebted to God and we have to come clean to God one way or another (12:57-59).  We can either accept the offer of Jesus Christ as our Savior or there will be punishment.

            In chapter 13 he makes it clear that life is brief, and we do not know when we will die.  People who die young did not die because of their sin but because it was their time (13:1-5).  There is an urgency to the decision we have to make on who Christ is, otherwise, we will be cut down like the fig tree (13:6-7).  Even though there is urgency God is patient with us but someday his patience will stop (13:8-9).      

Live it:

            As a follower of Christ, this section makes me think about the decision I made to follow Christ.  Did I lose relationships because of my decision?  Yes.  Was it worth it?  Absolutely.  What about the people I know that do not believe in Jesus Christ?  This section should put a burden on me to tell them about Christ.  They need to know there is a loving, merciful God who loves them and wants to be in a relationship with them.  God wants to spare them from being separated from him for eternity.  Pray that God would use you and he would open their eyes to the truth of the gospel. 

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