“I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, 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 her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
Interpreting the Time
He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
Comment: Some try to make the gospel just ‘love’ and nothing else. Well the Christian gospel simply isn’t like that! We must not minimize the aspects of peace and love but to deny suffering, struggle against opposition we deny the facts of what Jesus says and the history of the church. What can the first ‘exclamation’ mean but judgement and Jesus is in some sense waiting for it to come and to be in the past. What does the second sentence mean but that Jesus is expecting to go through a ‘hellish’ time of trial Himself – and soon He is to be nailed to a cross. And it goes on to remind us that a stand on His side means that many are against Him and will be against us. In the West at this very period of time we are seeing governments, philosophers and even some times factions of ‘christianity’ which are trying to rid our society of Him or at least make His followers desert His teachings and Biblical principals.
The accusation of being ‘hypocrites’ tends to make us angry. But why does He call the people listening to Him ‘hypocrites’? I think that there is no other understanding possible than the following. We thing we are smart (they could read the weather in the sky, we go further and can have large weather charts); They couldn’t see what was happening around them – they didn’t understand the significance of the moment regarding Him and His ministry (nor do we grasp where we are by our treatment of His Truth). That is not being able to interpret ‘the (our) present time is important. Hell is mentioned more frequently than the pleasures of heaven in the Bible. After all – God’s plan is to get rid of the evil so that the Prince of Peace can reign bearing that title!
Prayer: Help me to discern accurately where we, and me, are at!