Baptism by Fire

“Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, I have come instead to bring division.” Luke 12:51 (CEB)

As I read this passage from Luke’s gospel, I realize how easy it is to slip into the habit of “taming Jesus.”  I want to know “Gentle Jesus, Meek and Mild.”  I want to read about Jesus who healed the sick and spoke up in defense of the poor and side-lined of society.  I don’t want “my” Jesus to turn over tables in the Temple or divide my household.  

I want him to be nice and agreeable.

Or do I?  

Reading this reminds me that Jesus came to show us how we allow society to rule our lives.  He came into our broken world and pointed out that brokenness.  And then he offered himself up in his own baptism by fire in order to save us from that broken condition.

What this text points out to me is my own sinful condition.  Though Jesus does his best to point to those facets of society that are out-of-order, I discover that I’m a part of the problem.  

It takes courage to live out our faith; to stand by what we believe is wrong in our world.  It takes courage to step out in boldness for God’s kingdom.  We risk stumbling and falling; we rise failure.  

But, it isn’t really failure, is it?  After all, the greatest “failure” happened in Golgotha 2000 years ago.  And we haven’t been the same since.

All glory and honor be to God.

Amen.


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