61 One last cent

Luke 12:49-59
Isaiah 53:4-6
T To cast fire upon the earth

Last time, Luke promoted attention to the Jesus second coming. It seems to be turned to the foreigner church spreading out in particular. This morning the; I will take up Verse 49-59.

Luke seems to divide it into two parts again, here, and to incorporate a message of his own into the words of Jesus. At first, it is from the first phrase. "I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be 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; mather-in-law against daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law." (49-53) "I have come to cast fire upon the earth" and "how I wish it were already kindled!"; what does "the fire" in these two words point at? It is a place counted one of the difficult points. John the Baptist said about the Messiah before. "He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. And His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." (3:16-17)

This is full in mystery, too; but because John has a strong interest to the part that a judger is the Messiah, it seems to have become such expression. Because injustice and immorality and evil including the exploitation had risen in that times, the people would have taken the sense of impending crisis of such times, as their pains. Of course such sharp sensitivity was cultivated in Jesus. And, because Jesus added it to sharp sensitivity and stared at that times with based "the Holy" of God who sent Him, would such sadness have become the expression of "fire"? The evil of the person is picked up by the One who is Holy, and the ugly real nature of the person becomes still uglier, and the evil of the person becomes clear really. "The fire" that Jesus declared "I have come to cast fire upon the earth" might be a reply to such sadness of John.


U To warn with the Lord

"How I wish it were already kindled!"; it is thought that the fire remains in the people and if it can continue giving off sharp warning as a messenger of God. It seems He was troubled in whether He would leave "to receive Baptism" (way to a cross); and disappointment and anger of Jesus to the people who were more far-off from God, seems to reach from here. Would it have been from such thought? Jesus said, "Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division". The division will be the figure of the extremity of the crime of our evil. And that figure seems to just rise clearly at this time in the present age. The family who should be the center of "the combination" of opposite poles originally collapses with "the division". The connection with the person is already more than the stone of the roadside. Now, at downtown, indiscriminate murder is carried out for irritation cancellation; he said "anyone has been enough". In addition, one stabs his father to death for a reason to "be gloomy", the evil has come to an extremity early in this 21st century; I tremble violently. We must be asked about the sadness of our Lord, "how I wish it were already kindled!", just in this present age.

Still, Jesus said, "I came to division". Will the "way of growing impudent of the crime" be because Jesus has come? It is not so. Jesus has come to us to restore the combination that failed. To restore combination with God and to restore the new combination with a person and the person... However, on the other hand, it will be a fact that many people trip by believing Jesus. For a person of faith, the persecution begins in the imminent place. We want to listen to a description of Matthew that Luke was resonant, "And brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all on account of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved." (Matthew 10:21-22); if say forcibly, in Japanese Christianityphobia, such division seems to be seen.

However, we must hear the words of God at the depth of the soul with shuddering, with having sharp sensitivity like John the Baptist and Jesus and being lighted up by the sacred "fire"; and we are asked right or wrong of our acts, from God. At the same time, as an agent of the Lord, we must continue sending the voice of the warning "it (what you are doing) is evil " keenly again and again. Like the times of disciples, will not it be responsibility of our church, too?


V One last cent

However, fire means a purge at the same time it means falls (condemnation). Jesus wished "the fire were already kindled!", but He decided to choose the way to "the Baptism which should receive". Jesus was put on a cross for people who should die out. For to permit their (our) crime. Another phrase of the latter half seems to make it clear.

This was talked to the multitude. At first, it is from the first half. "When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, 'A shower is coming.' and so it turns out. And when you see a south wind blowing, you say, 'It will be a hot day.' and it turns out that way. You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time?" (54-56) Because, the sea is to the west in Palestine, the rain comes over from there. And, the south wind brings intense heat because it is accompanied by the hot wind from the wasteland. About the matter to control such their profit, the people were very smart. However, Jesus said, "you do not analyze this present time.". He said "this present time". I repeat it again; Jesus is the center of times / the center of time. At that center, Jesus continues talking as God Himself. However, they don't want to hear it, and lose sight of God; and it seems that they are losing place where they stand. "The times", it points to them itself. And, their way of life criticized so keenly, it overlaps with modern us. We want to learn the eye to distinguish it, but it is according to the way of life believing God.

When we look at this in this way, Luke seems to uncover the problem, "a crimeh, of the people who are not going to stare Jesus thoroughly, as if a dam had broken. As if it is eyes of John the Baptist. Probably, it seemed to be the tradition since prophets (Isaiah in particular), but, first of all, as for the invitation to the Gospel, there would have been consciousness of Luke that begins from the recognition of the crime. And he steps into the Gospel itself. "And why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right? For while you are going with your opponent to appear before the magistrate, on your way there make an effort to settle with him, in order that he may not drag you before the judge, and the judge turn you over to the constable, and the constable throw you into prison. I say to you, you shall not get out of there until you have paid the very last cent." (57-59) This parable seems to recommend repentance before judge (God), before He intervenes in "our crime". The judgment "to pay the very last cent" is never light punishment, and after having compensated with all, is "our life" required saying that it is not yet enough. Jesus has expiated "that life" by a cross of Himself. Jesus paid one last cent for us. I wish you hear this Gospel.


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