“I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, 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 her daughter-in-law
and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘It is going to rain’; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
“And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? Thus, when you go with your accuser before a magistrate, on the way make an effort to settle the case, or you may be dragged before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer throw you in prison. I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny.”
Until Jesus comes back there can never be world peace. Always we will be fighting about what is right and what is wrong. Without Jesus’s help we are hopelessly violent creatures. All the time we spend talking about world peace is a lost cause. Not that I think we should give up. We should be striving for God’s Kingdom, which is loving and peaceful, even if we can’t achieve it.
It is ironic, isn’t it, how good people are at understanding signs, yet miss the ones that count? We know how to tell when it will rain, whether or not our baby will go to sleep, if that car is going to turn right or not, whether or not we’re likely to get a raise. We read all of those signs with effortless precision. But signs from God… those we tend to miss. They’re harder to see!
Not in hindsight. When we look back on Jesus’s time, the signs are crystal clear. even when we look back on our own lives they’re easier to see. I think that we tend to miss them because we aren’t looking for them. We need to train ourselves to watch for God’s signals, just like we learned to watch for turn signals when we were sixteen. Easier said than done… What a hopelessly difficult task that seems to me!
The last little parable is less clear to me. I think in this metaphor Jesus is our adversary. If we don’t reconcile our differences with Him, God will judge us. And the thing is, Jesus is willing to pay every single penny we owe, if we would just let our pride down enough to ask Him. THAT’S the message I wish I could share with the people I love. Jesus is willing to take the blame for every mistake you ever made! All you have to do is admit that you’ve screwed up, and ask for His help to make it right. Because EVERYBODY has made mistakes. Everybody.