Summary: The world wants peace... remember the Coca Cola song? Jesus notes that his peace is different ant this text is about "judgment" in regards to his Messiah ship. There is evil in the world... our own selfish nature would desire that we build bigger barns.

In Jesus Holy Name August 14, 2016

Luke 12:49,51

“The Harsh Words of Jesus”

People want peace and harmony. We want peace and harmony for our families, for our communities and for our world. Personal security and national security are big issues in our communities. The events in San Bernardino, Orlando, Nice, France. Americans are worried.

Remember the words from the old Coca Cola commercial…. “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing,” Oh, how we wish it were true. . You know how it goes.

I'd like to see the world for once

All standing hand in hand

And hear them echo through the hills

For peace through out the land

(That's the song I hear)

I'd like to teach the world to sing

In perfect harmony

I'd like to teach the world to sing

In perfect harmony

Just 2 weeks ago our sermon was on Jesus the Good Shepherd who searches for and saves the lost sinner. (John 11) We like that picture. People want to believe that Jesus is patiently waiting for them to make up their minds. They feel quite comfortable indefinitely postponing repentance, baptism, commitment, forgiveness, faith. They think Jesus is the Good Shepherd who must wait for them. Any time they want they can repent, get saved, and the angels in heaven will rejoice.

That’s what we want Jesus to say and do. Instead he continues, “No, I tell you, I have come to bring fire on the earth. Not peace, but division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three ....”

We’re looking for love, peace, grace and mercy. And so the words of the Beatitudes ring in our ears.

Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

This is always a difficult passage. I really didn’t want to preach on it. Our tendency as Lutheran preachers is to just preach on the Gospel or Epistle lesson.. If we don’t like the tone of the Gospel lesson…. Then look at the Epistle…. If that doesn’t suit…. You begin to think to yourself… well maybe I should be doing a sermon series on the O.T characters.

Then I realized that I could not isolate these few verses. This passage is a reality check for the disciples. Maybe it was only a few months ago that Jesus and the disciples were walking along a road moving to a different village when a young man approached Jesus and said: “I will follow you were ever you go.” Jesus said…. Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head….” Are you sure you want to make that commitment?

This passage is both a rare glimpse into the mind of Jesus. Peace, his peace, does not mean the absence of conflict, discord and division. Not even families will be spared the disharmony that results when a person opts for Christian discipleship. A commitment to believe in Jesus. A commitment to put into practice his words. A commitment to give up discord, jealousy, selfish ambition, envy, drunkenness, sexual immorality. A commitment to change your Sunday morning activities and start attending Sunday Worship. Well, these things will cause conflict.

Classic story from the bible. (read John 11:1-6)

John’s in prison. He knows Jesus is his cousin. He knows the miracles Jesus is doing. He knows his death may be imminent. He is asking a human question… “have I wasted my life?” Are you the Messiah? Jesus answered… You must decide if I am God. It happens again in John 22 with the Pharisees who are asking for a sign. (read…..which miracle?)

Judgment is coming because there is “evil in the world”. Ultimate judgment will be based on your relationship with Jesus. Listen to the words of Revelation 12:17 (read)

Yes the world is experiencing a “cosmic” war between God the Creator and the demonic forces of evil.

What are the next chapters in Luke talking about? 13 -repent… healing of a woman on the Sabbath….Jesus calls the Pharisees hypocrites… then in verse 22….the door to heaven is narrow. No one comes into the Father’s presence except through faith in Jesus.

There is no escaping God’s judgment. But, before that, there is no escaping each individual making a decision.

These words of Jesus follow the parable of the rich fool who built bigger barns, to keep his bountiful harvest for himself….and he died that very night. What was the rich man’s problem? He thought he was in charge of his life and gave no credit to his creator…

I’m talking about the Living God, who created the universe with it elegant solar systems and exploding fireballs….. (this past Friday evening…hiked to the hills west of Fresno to watch the shooting meteorite shower.) This the God who fashion all matter out of nothing. Each pebble, water droplet, dirt clod, and snowflake composed of trillions of tiny “electrons” orbiting tiny “planets” atomic nuclei, and all their endless spinning powered by His energy. Evidently, God has gone to a lot of trouble creating us…

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