Morning Bible Study
Starting this Thursday, we will be doing a 13 week
series on “worldview”.
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
: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 …
3:11b NKJV) …will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
When the Holy Spirit came upon the early church, Luke recorded,
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 …
Peter 3:9b NKJV) …not willing that any should perish but that all should come to
Yet one of the themes running through Luke 12 has been the theme of
The foolish barn builder heard God say,
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)
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
: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
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
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
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
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.
: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.”
:53 Father will be divided against son
There will be tension in the family.
Sounds to me like a family feud.
Some people have this notion that Jesus is all about love and peace.
Yet during His ministry, there was constant conflict and division.
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
Sometimes we can have the idea that if we follow Jesus, life will be
Don’t get me wrong. Jesus is the
right choice to make.
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
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,
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.
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
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
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
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
:54 Then He also said to the multitudes
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
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
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?
:56 You can discern the face of the sky
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?
time – kairos – 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”.
Sometimes when God asks us to do something, there’s a time limit, an
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,
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.
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?
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
:58 make every effort along the way to settle
The example that Jesus gives is one where someone is taking you to court to
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
I wonder if this picture of the judge might even hint at the idea of facing
God one day as our judge.
:59 I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very
:59 till you have paid the very last mite
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.
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
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:
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
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.
(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
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”.
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
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?