Tough words, these words from Jesus in Luke 12. “I’ve come to bring fire to the earth, and I wish the conflagration had already been ignited,” he declares. “Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth?’’ he shockingly questions. And I thought that the angels at Christmas told us that this Christ Child would bring peace on earth. But, no! Instead, Jesus promises that he came to provoke division rather than unity. For me, these words are not the finest moment for Jesus.
So…what are we to do with Jesus? Maybe the point is the opposite. In following Jesus our job is not to do something with him, but rather to have him do something with us! Jesus hurts when he sees how we are living our lives. He has been warning throughout Luke 12 about hypocrisy, urging people to confess their sins, pointing out the perils of hoarding our resources and of worrying ourselves sick, and telling stories about servants ill-prepared for their master’s return.
The bottom line…Words like these force me to ponder: How much is this Jesus going to cost me?