…(Jesus said) “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division” (Luke 12:51).
The hostility against Jesus grows. His enemies will not stop until He hangs dead on a cross.
That doesn’t seem to fit the words of the Christmas angels: “Peace on earth” (see Luke 2:14). But the angels weren’t talking about peace among people. They said, “Peace among those with whom God is pleased.” God is only pleased when we recognize our failings, and then trust Jesus Christ as our Savior.
The Jewish leaders won’t accept that they are misleading God’s people. They cling to their errors and refuse to turn to their Messiah for forgiveness. Jesus warns His disciples that hostility will one day turn against them.
Listen to the urgency in His voice: “I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is My distress until it is accomplished!” The fire Jesus wishes to cast is the cross; His bloody sacrifice divides believers from unbelievers. The fire of that cross rages across the earth to this very day.
Jesus asks, “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth?” How often do we compromise the truth or stand in silence trying to live at peace with others? Not so with Jesus. He refuses to wash His hands if it will support a satanic lie. He powerfully attacks the deception of the Pharisees and scribes so they will recognize Satan’s lies and turn to Him for salvation.
THE PRAYER: Almighty God, there can be no compromise between You and Satan, truth and error, life and death, heaven and hell. Help me cling at all costs to the peace believers have with You, which Jesus Christ won. I pray in His Name. Amen.
*Thank you to Lutheran Hour Ministries for providing this devotion.