Summary: A study of the Gospel of Luke 12: 49 – 53
Luke 12: 49 – 53
Light My Fire
49 “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! 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.”
The apostle Matthew personally observed our Lord’s teachings. He was the first one to write down what he saw and heard. Luke around 15 years after Matthew’s Gospel penned, after investigating and interviewing eyewitnesses, his version. So, let us see what information Luke could refer to in the Gospel of Matthew.
Matthew 10:34-39, 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.
You will note the similarities of both Gospels yet there are obvious differences. We will incorporate both and describe some wonderful facts.
Our Precious Holy Spirit Is not the author of confusion. Scripture does not conflict with other Scripture. Verse 49 says this.
49 “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!
We know that our Lord received great persecution from the religious people. So, would you then read this verse as saying our Lord was eagerly wanting to wipe out these phonies with fire?
Previously our Lord had dealt with two of His disciples who wanted to call down fire on other people. We find out that His purpose is not to do that. In chapter 9 we read of this incident with James and John.
“51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.”
Please note our Lord’s description of His Ministry – ‘For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” I believe that many people assume because our Lord goes on to teach that He is not going to bring peace but division that they take the position that our Lord Jesus contemplates the thought of the punishments which will be inflicted on the various unfaithful servants. We will cover this information is a bit.
I believe that our Loving Lord is not talking about difficulties but future blessings. Let me ask you to think about this, ‘what does the word ‘kindled’ mean?
According to the dictionary this is what we find out.
1. To light, or set on fire
2. To arouse or inspire [ an emotion or feeling ]
So, what do I believe the mentioning of fire by our Lord means? Let me give you a few Scripture verses and see if you can pick up our Lord’s point.
Acts 2:2-4, 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”