Summary: Not Peace but a Sword - Luke chapter 12 verses 49-53 - sermon by Gordon Curley. PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(1). The Cross is key regarding Fire. (vs 49).
(2). The Cross is key regarding Suffering & Death (vs 50).
(3). The Cross is key regarding Division (vs 51-54).
• Oftentimes, a logo signifies the presence of a product or a company;
• That we know all too well.
• When you see a McDonald's golden arch,
• You think of Big Macs and French-fries.
• When you see the BMW logo, you think of a slick car.
• When you see the Google logo, you think of searching for answers online.
I googled the world’s top logos and these are the top four responses!
• Fourth place: Apple
• Third place: Ford
• Second place: Coca-Cola
• First place: Nike
• TRANSITION: That may be true when it comes to business;
• But the world’s greatest and most recognisable symbol has to be the cross.
• We see it on buildings, across skylines;
• And people of faith or no faith wear it as a symbol,
• i.e. as an item of jewellery.
• In New Testament times the cross was a problem, a stigma:
• To Jewish people the cross is a stumbling block;
• They wanted a conquering king not a dying Messiah.
• To the Greeks it was foolishness.
• Death and this type pf death was humiliating and a sign of weakness;
• Their gods were gods of power and glory.
• To the Muslim the cross is an offence.
• They despise this symbol of the Christian faith.
• i.e. Even the red cross organisation use a different symbol in Moslem countries!
• (It is known as the Red Crescent in most Muslim countries)
TRANSITION: To the Christian, the cross is our supreme boast!
• Because we know the truth behind the symbol;
• That Christ died for our sins, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God!
• To the Jew the cross may be a stumbling block;
• To the Greeks it may be foolishness.
• To the Moslem the cross may be an offence.
• But to the Christian it is our supreme boast!
• And the cross is the key to understanding this passage this morning.
• It makes sense of the symbolism Jesus uses in his teaching!
• An arch-bishop was getting ready for an important function.
• He laid his robes out on his bed.
• Alongside was his cross that he wore;
• And he also placed his watch, his wallet and his car keys.
• He popped in the shower and while in there;
• His wife wanted to go out but could not because her husband,
• The archbishop had blocked her in the drive with his car.
• So she said to their little boy;
• Run upstairs and get daddy’s car keys so I can move his car.
• The little boy duly obliged but when he entered the bedroom;
• He was confused.
• He could see the shiny cross but not the keys;
• So he picked it up and popped into the bathroom.
• His dad was in the shower and the little boy held up the cross and said;
• “Daddy is this the key?”
• His dad the arch-bishop replied; “Yes, son, it’s the key to everything!”
• TRANSITION: Obviously it was not the key to the car;
• But it certainly is the key to life’s most important issues.
• i.e. It is a picture of violence key to peace
• i.e. It is a picture of suffering key to healing
• i.e. It is a picture of death key to life
• i.e. It is a picture of utter weakness key to power
• i.e. It is a picture of capital punishment key to forgiveness
• i.e. It is a picture of hatred key to love
• i.e. It is a picture of shame key to boasting!
• TRANSITION: We will see in a few minutes time;
• Exactly why the cross of Jesus Christ is ‘the key to everything!’
Note: Before we see that I want you to notice;
• That the Jesus we meet here in these verses;
• Is not one that fits the stereo type image “Gentle Jesus, meek and mild”:
• This is more like “Angry Jesus, bleak and wild.”
• Yes, Jesus was meek but never weak;
• He was gentle but when the occasion called for it, he could also be strict.
• He was tolerant and forgiving;
• But he also demanded justice and righteousness.
• The great composer Ludwig Van Beethoven used to sometimes played a trick;
• On some of his audiences.
• If he was invited to play in a certain situation,
• Where they were more concerned about having a celebrity to show off to other guests;