Summary: JESUS CAME TO BRING FIRE - A FIRE THAT IS 1. Finely FOCUSED 2. Divinely IGNITED from Heaven 3. Purifies us towards a life of RIGHTEOUSNESS and 4. It to be EXPERIENTIAL
Scripture: Luke 12:49-56
Theme: Jesus' Fire
Proposition: Jesus came to bring fire - A fire that is: 1. Focused 2. Divinely Ignited 3. Righteous 4. Experiential
Grace and peace from God our Father and from His Son Jesus Christ who came to take away the sins of the world.
"Jesus said, 'I came to cast fire upon the earth, and would that it were already kindled I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished'" Luke 12:49-50
As you read and meditate on the Bible you quickly discover that there are many various types of scripture passages. Some passages bring you amazement and joy. Others share some great spiritual adventure. Many bring great comfort and peace to our souls. We always enjoy reading those passages. But then there are passages like the one we have before us this morning. It is a passage that is quite aggressive and forceful. It is a passage than can prove to be rather difficult to hear, understand and apply to our lives. Many times when we come across one of these type of passages we are tempted to either skip them or gloss over them.
But should we? Should we just skip or skim over the difficult passages that we find in the Bible? Should we only look at those that bring comfort, adventure or joy? I don't think so. The Bible is clear when it tells us that all scripture has been "breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16). St. Luke wrote these words of Jesus for us to read them, learn from them and apply their truths to our lives.
That being said, these are not easy words to hear. We must approach them with a great deal of care. This passage has the potential if used wrongly to create a great deal of unnecessary anxiety and concern. Sadly, many have used this passage to promote division and discord and that was never Jesus' intention.
Therefore, we need to follow the leading and guidance of God's Holy Spirit. We need to open our minds, our hearts and our souls and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the wonderful truths of this passage. With that in mind, let's focus for a few minutes our attention on the initial part of verse 49 where we find Jesus saying these words:
"I came to cast fire upon the earth, and would that it were already kindled..."
I believe that the Holy Spirit would like for us to look at what Jesus was referring to when he stated that He came to bring FIRE upon the earth. I would like for us to answer the question - What does Jesus mean by what we could call "JESUS FIRE" this morning?
I. I believe that Jesus is telling us first of all that
Jesus Fire is a FOCUSED FIRE
When Jesus shared these words I believe that he wanted his disciples to understand that the fire that he was bringing to our world is a finely FOCUSED FIRE. Therefore, Jesus fire will never look like, act like or be some kind of wildfire. It will never burn out of control. Jesus fire is a fire that has been designed with built in controls and perimeters.
To our human eyes, Jesus fire may appear at times untamed and unwieldy but that is because we lack the proper perspective. We can be assured this morning that the fire that Jesus is bringing to our lives is a fire that Jesus will always have under his control. We do not have to be concerned about this fire taking on a power of its own. We do not have to be afraid that it will do something destructive or harmful. It is Jesus fire. What else does this passage teach us? It teaches us that:
a. Jesus fire is earth focused. It is not a fire that has been designed to overtake all of creation. It is not a fire that is designed for the other planets of our solar system or to any other planets in our galaxy. It is a fire that is specifically designed for our earth and it is a fire that Jesus passionately wanted to bring into our world.
b. Jesus fire is also human focused. In verses 52 and 53 we see Jesus speaking about families - human families. Jesus speaks of sons and fathers, mothers and daughters, mother-in-laws and daughters in law. Each of those relationships of course deals with very intimate human interactions. Jesus fire is not designed or intended for animals, plants or for any other life on earth. Jesus fire is only for humans who were made in the image of God.