Today, Jesus offers some rather sobering words about his mission:
I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, 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.
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. And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. 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?
Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”
This is some serious stuff. Let’s look at our 2 BIG Questions:
1. Who exactly is Jesus?
He’s the great dividing line of all history and humanity. Either you’re with him and aligned with God’s Kingdom or you’re not.
2. What exactly should we do?
Jesus didn’t bring a fuzzy-wuzzy wishy-washy everything’s-groovy message. He calls us to repent — to do a 180 from the world and its sinful ways — and to follow him.
The world doesn’t like that message much. Jesus warned us to expect division, opposition and persecution. That’s exactly what he himself experienced straight through to the cross.
Over and over Jesus promised eternal life, love, joy and peace to those who follow him. Over and over he warned of utter devastation to those who don’t.
Please please please take Jesus’ words seriously. Get alone with him right now and ask him to help you repent, believe and follow him.
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