No, I tell you, but rather division
Luke 12:35-59 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Be prepared, and keep your lamps lit. 36 You are also to be like people who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door for him when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will prepare himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and he will come up and serve them. 38 Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
39 “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 40 You too, be ready; because the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not think He will.”
41 Peter said, “Lord, are You telling this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?” 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. 44 Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But if that slave says in his heart, ‘My master will take a long time to come,’ and he begins to beat the other slaves, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk; 46 then the master of that slave will come on a day that he does not expect, and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in two, and assign him a place with the unbelievers. 47 And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accordance with his will, will receive many blows, 48 but the one who did not know it, and committed acts deserving of a beating, will receive only a few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.
49 “I have come to cast fire upon 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 accomplished! 51 Do you think that I came to provide peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; 52 for from now on five members in one household will be 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 daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
54 And He was also saying to the crowds, “Whenever you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it turns out. 55 And whenever you feel a south wind blowing, you say, ‘It will be a hot day,’ and it turns out that way. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but how is it that you do not know how to analyze this present time?
57 “And why do you not even judge by yourselves what is right? 58 For when you are going with your accuser to appear before the magistrate, on the way, make an effort to settle with him, so that he does not drag you before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you will not get out of there until you have paid up the very last lepton.”
The world calls Christians hypocrites if they do not embrace the ideology of the culture and society. They say love must be tolerant and inclusive. 1 John 2:15-16 says: Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. In today’s text Jesus Himself says: “I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! Do you think that I came to provide peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. 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.” It is not that as believers we should choose to be divided against others, but that we must choose to be unified with Christ. Jesus died so that we could be reconciled to God. We cannot be reconciled to sin and also to God. We are not the ones to choose division, yet there will be division regarding Christ. In Matthew 6:6-10 Jesus says: “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pains. Then they will hand you over to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. And at that time many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another.” In John 15:18-21 Jesus says: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you as well; if they followed My word, they will follow yours also. But all these things they will do to you on account of My name, because they do not know the One who sent Me.” We live in perhaps the most divided and polarized time in history. There are those who seek to divide us based on nearly every possible criteria. Those who say Christians are intolerant and non-inclusive are in truth the most intolerant of anyone who disagrees with them.
In John 8:12 Jesus says: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” In John 14:6 Jesus says: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” We need to recognize that it is not really us as Christians that they hate. It is light and truth that they hate. It is said that truth sounds like hate to those who hate the truth. It could also be said that darkness appears to light to those who love the darkness. In John 3:17-20 Jesus says: “God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him. The one who believes in Him is not judged; the one who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, so that his deeds will not be exposed.”
Again Jesus says:If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. To us He says: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16) In today’s text Jesus says: “Whenever you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it turns out. And whenever you feel a south wind blowing, you say, ‘It will be a hot day,’ and it turns out that way. You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but how is it that you do not know how to analyze this present time?... be ready; because the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not think He will.”
Revelation 22:11-17;20-21 says: “Let the one who does wrong still do wrong, and the one who is filthy still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous still practice righteousness, and the one who is holy still keep himself holy. Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to reward each one as his work deserves. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life, and may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral persons, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires, take the water of life without cost. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.