The Gospel is a bit disturbing because Luke presents Jesus as somebody who foments division. This is a very unusual image of Jesus who is more popularly known to be “Prince of Peace.” Here, He speaks about casting fire on earth and His eagerness to see it finally happen.
The “fire” that Jesus brings is not meant for the loss of lives or destruction of property. Jesus uses the element of fire to illustrate the change He intends to bring about in the world. He will do this by proclaiming the Gospel to people and later validate this Good News by laying His life on the cross. The baptism He intends to receive is His sacrifice on Calvary, and His Spirit will plant the Gospel in the hearts of men and women.
Jesus foresees how division will naturally happen between family members since every one has to make a choice either for or against the Gospel. He does not take delight in creating such division, but it is bound to happen as people commit themselves to their individual decisions or choices.
Disturb us, Lord, when we become complacent in a sinful situation or relationship.
Gospel • LUKE 12:49-53
Jesus said to His disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is My anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
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