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Luke 12:49-59

Sunday Morning Bible Study

May 29, 2016


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words  Video=75wpm

Starting this Thursday, we will be doing a 13 week series on “worldview”.

Video:  The Truth Project

Luke was a doctor and a traveling companion of the apostle Paul.

He wrote this book while Paul was in prison.

In writing this book about Jesus, Luke made use of other older documents like the Gospel of Mark, as well as extensive eyewitness accounts.

Jesus’ ministry is well under way, and the people have been amazed not just at the things He’s been teaching, but the things He’s been doing.

Jesus has been talking about greed, the coming judgment, and being ready.

12:49-53 The Trouble Maker

:49 “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!

to sendballo – to throw or let go of a thing without caring where it falls; to scatter, to throw, cast into

I wishthelo – to will, have in mind, intend; to be resolved or determined, to purpose; to desire, to wish; to love; to like to do a thing, be fond of doing; to take delight in, have pleasure

kindledanapto – to light up, kindle

:49 I came to send fire on the earth

What is Jesus talking about here?

Some suggest He could be talking about the fire of the Holy Spirit.
John the Baptist said that Jesus …

(Matthew 3:11b NKJV) …will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

When the Holy Spirit came upon the early church, Luke recorded,

(Acts 2:3 NKJV) Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.

I can see Jesus being excited about this kind of fire!
I think Jesus is more likely talking here about the fire of judgment.
In a way, Jesus isn’t exactly chomping at the bit for judgment to come.  The Bible says that He is …

(2 Peter 3:9b NKJV) …not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Yet one of the themes running through Luke 12 has been the theme of judgment.

The foolish barn builder heard God say,

(Luke 12:20 NKJV) Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’

And with that, the man would face the judgment of God.

We’ve also heard Jesus warn about the servant who knew his master’s will, but didn’t do it. (Luke 12:46)

(Luke 12:46a NKJV) the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him…

How is Jesus wishing that this fire would come?

Because He’s looking forward to the judgment being finished.

:50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished!

:50 I have a baptism to be baptized with

a baptismbaptisma – immersion, submersion; of calamities and afflictions with which one is quite overwhelmed

to be baptized withbaptizo – to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk); to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one’s self, bathe; to overwhelm

distressedsunecho – to hold together lest it fall to pieces or something fall away from it; to hold together with constraint, to compress

it is accomplishedteleo – to bring to a close, to finish, to end; to perform, execute, complete, fulfil, (so that the thing done corresponds to what has been said, the order, command etc.)

This is the same word that Jesus used
(John 19:30 NKJV) So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

We could paraphrase this verse to say,

I have a baptism to be immersed in and I am going to be very distressed until it is accomplished.

The word “baptism” speaks of simply being immersed in something, whether it’s being immersed in water, or immersed in a situation.

When the mother of James and John asked Jesus to make her sons His top lieutenants,

(Matthew 20:22–28 NKJV) —22 But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.”

Jesus was asking James and John if they were willing to be immersed in what He was about to go through.  They thought they were, even though they most likely didn’t understand what He meant.

23 So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.” 24 And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Jesus came to earth with one purpose in mind – to die for our sins.
He is looking forward to the salvation that will come when He would die for us.
The Bible says that if you will choose to turn from your sins and believe in Jesus, that you will have eternal life – the very thing that Jesus died for.
(John 3:16 NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

This is what Jesus was looking forward to.

:51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.

Do you supposedokeo – to be of opinion, think, suppose; to seem, to be accounted, reputed

peaceeirene – a state of national tranquility; peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord; security, safety, prosperity

I cameparaginomai – to be present, to come near, approach; to come forth, make one’s public appearance

divisiondiamerismos – a parting, distribution; disunion, dissension

:52 For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three.

divideddiamerizo – to cleave asunder, cut in pieces; to be divided into opposing parts, to be at variance, in dissension

: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.”

will be divideddiamerizo – to cleave asunder, cut in pieces; to be divided into opposing parts, to be at variance, in dissension

mother-in-lawpenthera – mother-in-law, a wife’s mother

daughter-in-lawnumphe – a betrothed woman, a bride; a recently married woman, young wife; a young woman; a daughter-in-law

:53 Father will be divided against son

There will be tension in the family.  Sounds to me like a family feud.

Video:  Family Feud Fail Compilation (Dawson)



Some people have this notion that Jesus is all about love and peace.
Yet during His ministry, there was constant conflict and division.

(John 7:12 NKJV) And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, “He is good”; others said, “No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.”

(John 7:43 NKJV) So there was a division among the people because of Him.

(John 9:16 NKJV) Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.

(John 10:19 NKJV) Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings.

Sometimes we can have the idea that if we follow Jesus, life will be better. 
Don’t get me wrong.  Jesus is the right choice to make.

(John 14:6 NKJV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

But don’t expect everyone to applaud you when you choose to follow Jesus.

I’ve known people who have had their lives messed up with drugs, problems with the police, etc.  When they follow Jesus all that changes.

But when this happens, there will be people who will turn on them.

To be a follower of Jesus, you need to come to the point where Jesus is more important to you than any other relationship in the world.  Jesus said,
(Matthew 10:34–39 NKJV) —34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

Jesus needs to be the most important person in your life.

I know this will sound like I’m getting off track, but let me play a video for you about Memorial Day.
Video:  Memorial Day - Taps
For a week Washington, D.C., meteorologists kept their eye on Hurricane Isabel as she moved in a northwesterly direction from the Southern Atlantic. Boasting winds near 150 miles per hour, Isabel wreaked havoc as it moved toward the nation’s capital.
On September 18, 2003, all federal government offices were closed with most of Congress leaving town. Museums and monuments were shut down as Washington’s streets, usually crowded with tourists, stood abandoned. Even the Metro subway was closed.
As Hurricane Isabel bore down on Washington, D.C., Thursday evening, heavy rains and winds in excess of 50 miles per hour pelted the city. Trees were toppled, and 700,000 people were left without power.
So severe was the storm that for the first time, in nearby Arlington National Cemetery, the soldiers who guard the Tomb of the Unknowns (a memorial to unidentified fallen soldiers) were given permission to abandon their posts and seek shelter. Since a sentry was first posted there in 1930, the tomb has been guarded continuously with a half-dozen soldiers taking turns standing guard on 24-hour shifts.
But the guards at the Tomb of the Unknowns remained resolute in their determination to stay at their post. When reminded of the opportunity to seek shelter, Sgt. Christopher Holmes responded, “They told us that. But that’s not what’s going to happen. That’s not what’s going to happen. It’s just considered to be the greatest honor to go out there and guard. It’s not only the unknowns. It’s a symbol that represents everyone who’s fought and died for our country.” The soldier charged with standing vigil overnight added, “That’s never an option for us. It went in one ear and right out the other.”
Staff Sgt. Alfred Lanier, who was also on duty with Holmes Thursday night, explained, “Once you become a badge holder, it’s like you’ll do whatever you have to do to guard the unknowns. For one, it’s my job. And for two, that’s just how much respect I myself have for the unknowns. That’s just something we cherish.”
During the height of the storm, Sergeant of the Guard Fredrick Geary took it upon himself to march for 5 ½ hours in front of the tomb against heavy rain and 60-mph wind gusts. The wind was so strong it felled at least 24 trees on cemetery grounds, most more than 20 years old. Three headstones were crushed.
When you choose to follow Jesus, you are choosing to go against the winds.  You are choosing to stand in the storm.

12:54-59 Discern the Times

: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.

:54 Then He also said to the multitudes

the multitudesochlos – a crowd; a casual collection of people; a throng; a multitude

There have been times when Jesus has addressed the larger crowd and times when he’s addressed just the disciples.  Here he turns from addressing the disciples to the crowd again.

:54 Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west

cloudnephele – a cloud; used of the cloud which led the Israelites in the wilderness

risinganatello – rise; to cause to rise; of the earth bring forth plants; to rise, arise, to rise from, be descended from

the westdusme – the setting of the sun; the region of the sunset, the west

immediatelyeutheos – straightway, immediately, forthwith

a showerombros – a shower; a violent storm, accompanied by high wind with thunder and lightning

If a cloud is coming out of the west, it’s coming by way of the Mediterranean.

The first century had no Weather Channel to turn to.  They didn’t have an app on their phone telling them what the week ahead was like.

Their predictions about the weather came from things like the formation of clouds and such.

:55 And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is.

:55 when you see the south wind blow

south windnotos – the south wind; the south, the southern quarter

blowpneo – to breathe, to blow; of the wind

hot weatherkauson – burning heat; a very dry hot, east wind, scorching and drying up everything

The south wind would be blowing north from the Negev, the Judean wilderness, which is desert.

It’s like the winds that come off of the Mojave Desert for us.

We would say that a Santa Ana coming up.  You know it’s going to be a hot day.

:56 Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?

hypocriteshupokrites – one who answers, an interpreter; an actor, stage player; a dissembler, pretender, hypocrite

:56 You can discern the face of the sky

It’s kind of like the movies where a guy is really good at programming computers, but he doesn’t know how to ask a girl out on a date.

The issue before us is even bigger than knowing how to ask a girl out on a date.

There are some people who are quite good at what they know.

I’ve known guys who can hear a car drive by and tell you what’s wrong with the car just from the sound it makes.
There are some people who can tell you who won the World Series in 1938 (Yankees over Cubs) or who had the highest batting average that year (Taffy Wright, .349, White Sox)
Some people can listen to a song, pick up an instrument, and play the song back for you.

As fun or as valuable as some of our own skills are, God wants you to be good at knowing what is important to Him.

:56 how is it you do not discern this time?

discerndokimazo – to test, examine, prove, scrutinize (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals; to recognize as genuine after examination, to approve, deem worthy

timekairos – due measure; opportune or seasonable time; the right time

This isn’t “time” in the sense of days, hours, or minutes.  It’s “time” in the sense of the “right time”, knowing the “proper time”.


What now?

Sometimes when God asks us to do something, there’s a time limit, an expiration date.
It’s important to know when God is prompting you to do something “now”.
Esther was a beautiful young Jewish girl who won a sort of beauty pageant and ended up married to the emperor of Persia.  No one knew she was Jewish.  After she had become Queen of Persia, a wicked man named Haman devised a plot to have all the Jews in Persia exterminated.  Haman convinced the emperor that there was a mysterious race of people who were dangerous to the empire, and the emperor unknowingly signed the death sentence of the Jews.
When Esther’s uncle Mordecai found out about the plot, he suggested that Esther talk to the emperor.  She replied,

(Esther 4:11–14 NKJV) —11 “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law: put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days.”

In other words, Esther was a little worried about just marching up to the emperor.  She was afraid that if he was in a bad mood, she might be killed.  She was a little reluctant to get involved.

12 So they told Mordecai Esther’s words. 13 And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

This was Esther’s time, her kairos.

Would she do what she needed to do when it was her time?

She did.  And she would save the Jews.

For each of us, from time to time we find ourselves in unique positions.  There are certain people that we are connected with.  There are certain places God has placed us.  And there are certain times that God desires to use us in our position.
Will we be able to “discern” when God is wanting to use us?

:57 “Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right?

judgekrino – to separate, put asunder, to pick out, select, choose; to approve, esteem, to prefer; to be of opinion, deem, think, to be of opinion; to judge

rightdikaios – righteous, observing divine laws; upright, righteous, virtuous

Jesus is going to give an example of what it means to “discern the times”, to “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.

adversaryantidikos – opponent; an opponent in a suit of law; an adversary, enemy

magistratearchon – a ruler, commander, chief, leader

way hodos – properly a way; a traveled way, road

When you’re on the way to the judge with your adversary …

makedidomi – to give

every effortergasia – a working, performing; work, business; gain got by work, profit; endeavour, pains

to settleapallasso – to remove, release, to be removed, to depart; to set free, deliver

dragkatasuro – to draw down, pull down; to draw along, drag forcibly

officerpraktor – one who does anything, a doer; one who does the work of inflicting punishment or taking vengeance; an officer of justice of the lower order whose business it is to inflict punishment

prisonphulake – guard, watch; of the place where captives are kept, a prison

:58 make every effort along the way to settle

The example that Jesus gives is one where someone is taking you to court to sue you.

Think about the man who asked Jesus to divide his inheritance…

Jesus is encouraging you to make a point of making things right with the other person before you actually make it before the judge.
If you don’t make things right, you run the risk of the judge ruling against you.
I wonder if this picture of the judge might even hint at the idea of facing God one day as our judge.
Jesus taught a similar idea in the Sermon on the Mount:
(Matthew 5:23–26 NKJV) —23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.

Get things right with the other person.

:59 I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite.”

:59 till you have paid the very last mite

departexerchomai – to go or come forth of

you have paidapodidomi – to deliver, to give away for one’s own profit what is one’s own, to sell; to pay off, discharge what is due; a debt, wages, tribute, taxes, produce due; to give back, restore

mitelepton – thin, small; a small brass coin, equivalent to the eighth part of an "as", worth about a 1/5 of a cent

The “mite” (lepton) was a small brass coin, worth less than a penny.  I bought one that was put into a necklace in Israel for Deb.

The poor widow put two of these small coins into the Treasure, and was noticed by Jesus. (Luke 21:2)
(Luke 21:1–4 NKJV) —1 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, 2 and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. 3 So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; 4 for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”


Take care of business

Jesus is warning that if you don’t take care of things now with others, you will eventually be required by the judge (maybe even God) to pay back the last “penny”.
Some take the idea of “discerning the times” to mean strictly the understanding that we are in the “end times”.
I think it can carry that idea, since in our context, Jesus has been talking about being ready for His coming:

(Luke 12:40 NKJV) Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

Yet we’ve seen it means more than that.
It’s knowing how to live because we are in those last days.
Jesus gives the example that it can mean that you make things right with others.
If you’ve offended someone, NOW is the time to do something about it.  Now is the time to make things right.
Why now?  Because at any moment you may be facing the judge.

This is what it means to “discern” the times around you.

Peter wrote,
(2 Peter 3:10–11 NKJV) —10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,

This is bigger than just knowing that we’re in the “End Times”.

It’s knowing how to live in these “End Times”.

What does holy conduct and godliness look like to you?

How many of you have served in our nation’s armed forces?  How many of you have loved ones who have lost their lives fighting for our country?  We would like to say “Thank You”.
Video:  Budweiser Thank You Soldiers
Robby Robins was an Air Force pilot during the first Iraq war. After his 300th mission, he was surprised to be given permission to immediately pull his crew together and fly his plane home. They flew across the ocean to Massachusetts and then had a long drive to western Pennsylvania. They drove all night, and when his buddies dropped him off at his driveway just after sun-up, there was a big banner across the garage—“Welcome Home Dad!”
How did they know? No one had called, and the crew themselves hadn’t expected to leave so quickly. Robins relates, “When I walked into the house, the kids, about half dressed for school, screamed, ‘Daddy!’ Susan came running down the hall—she looked terrific—hair fixed, make-up on, and a crisp yellow dress. ‘How did you know?’ I asked.
‘I didn’t,’ she answered through tears of joy. ‘Once we knew the war was over, we knew you’d be home one of these days. We knew you’d try to surprise us, so we were ready every day.’”
I want you to think bigger here than being ready for a soldier’s return.  Are you ready for our Savior’s return?