What Jesus Did! 'Fire! Division! Decision!' — Luke 12:49-53

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Jesus continued speaking: "I came to bring fire to the world. I wish it were already burning! I must be baptized with a {different kind of} baptism. I feel very troubled until it is finished. Do you think that I came to give peace to the world? No! I came to divide the world! From now on, a family with five people will be divided, three against two, and two against three. A father and son will be divided: The son will be against his father. The father will be against his son. A mother and her daughter will be divided: The daughter will be against her mother. The mother will be against her daughter. A mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law will be divided: The daughter-in-law will be against her mother-in-law. The mother-in-law will be against her daughter-in-law."
— Luke 12:49-53 NLT
Illustration of Luke 12:49-53 NLT — "I came to bring fire to the world."

Key Thought

Jesus demonstrates God's love in so many ways during his earthly ministry. He will accomplish an incredible blessing of love when he comes to take God's children home to be with him forever. However, the cost of those blessings is high—high for him, high for God, and high for those who follow him. Jesus left heaven, came to earth, and died a horrible death to provide these blessings. God withheld his power and allowed those he created to do such horrid things to his Son. So we must not be surprised at the powerful language Jesus uses here. His ministry calls for a decision, a radical decision, to be made. He is either God with us or he is an impostor. He is either Christ, God's Messiah and our Savior, or he is delusional. He is either Lord, King of our hearts and of all creation, or he is a liar. Making this decision is divisive. It will divide families and households. It will be politically incorrect because it doesn't allow for alternatives. As Jesus speaks to his disciples, he also speaks to us. If we decide for him, our decision will not make everyone happy and won't lead to everyone's liking us. A passionate disciple of Jesus will not be appreciated by all ... maybe not by most!

Today's Prayer

Father, please give me the courage to fully decide to follow Jesus. Then, dear Father, please give me the wisdom to know how to deal lovingly with those who cannot accept my decision, my passion, and my discipleship. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Philippians 2:5-11
  • John 15:18
  • 1 John 3:13


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.