Lord, I pray that You’ll speak to me clearly from Your Word today so that, hearing, I can obey it.
Read Luke 12:49-59
 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!  But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed!  Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.  From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, 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 daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”  He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does.  And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is.  Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?  “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?  As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison.  I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat does Jesus say will result from his coming?
The strongest ties and responsibilities in Jewish society are those of family. If the words in verse 53 seem strange to us, try to imagine how they were heard by a society based so tightly on the family unit. Separation from family would have potentially led to disinheritance and loss of status with all those around you. But Jesus is emphasizing that the true disciple will need to be ready for conflict even with those who are closest to them. So why is our natural tendency to stay quiet? Conflict seems somehow wrong, so we are tempted to compromise our stance in order to be accepted and not stand out from the crowd. Increasingly, the views of believers are marginalized in society and many of us say nothing. Perhaps we no longer know what to say. We have become like the people of Jesus’ day—not knowing how to interpret and speak out about the issues of the day. Jesus’ challenge to us is that we should be willing to stand up for what we believe whatever the cost.
Has speaking out about your faith ever caused division among those you know? Why and what was your response?
Lord, I pray for the discernment to know when to speak out and courage to be able to do it.
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