Luke 12:49-53 (CEV)
49 I came to set fire to the earth, and I wish it were already on fire! 50 I am going to be put to a hard test. And I will have to suffer a lot of pain until it is over. 51 Do you think that I came to bring peace to earth? No indeed! I came to make people choose sides. 52 A family of five will be divided, with two of them against the other three. 53 Fathers and sons will turn against one another, and mothers and daughters will do the same. Mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law will also turn against each other.
The Mudder’s for Mother’s team is out training again.
Last year I went and helped photograph the event and it was amazing to see our team put themselves into some quite challenging and uncomfortable situations.
None of the obstacles that you do are mandatory. There is nobody checking to make sure that you don’t cheat. You are welcome to walk around any event that seems too much.
And some people jump straight into each obstacle, excited by the prospect.
And others sit timidly on the side, watching their fellow team mates to see how to best approach the event.
And I sat and watched quite a few people panic (all from other teams, of course!) at the top of the King of the Swing event and you can almost see them thinking “I can’t go back, and I can’t go forward … Maybe I could just stay here for the rest of the day?”
But at some point, each and every participant has to choose sides. They have to come back down the ladder or jump off the platform.
It’s a hard test. There is pain involved. But it’s for a really great cause!
And that’s what Jesus is saying.
We’re halfway through the book and Jesus is dropping hints about what’s to come.
This life that Jesus came to make possible isn’t going to be possible without some really challenging things happening – both for him and for those who choose to follow him. It’s not going to be roses and fairy dust and happy frolicking children dancing in the glorious sunset. People aren’t all going to agree. They’re not all going to like what Jesus does or says or ends up going through. People are going to have opinions about it all, and it’s going to upset ideas and relationships and life.
And as he does in many other places throughout Luke, Jesus is letting people know that they are going to have to choose. Just like with King of the Swing you can’t just stand at the top of the tower waiting. There’s a line of people coming up behind you, so you have to jump in or climb down.
Which will you choose?
- In what way is Jesus currently challenging you to choose?
- What would following Jesus look like in that place?
- How might following Jesus upset ideas or relationships or life?
- Will you jump in or climb down?