Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I HAVE NOT COME TO BRING PEACE – OCTOBER 21ST – THURSDAY (Lk 12: 49-53)

1. The baptism Jesus here speaks of was the baptism of pain and suffering death – what we call the passion of the Lord. He knew it must all be gone through to bring about the blessed result for which he left his home in heaven; but he looked on to it, nevertheless, with terror and shrinking. He is under pressure,” says Godget, “to enter into this suffering. Therefore he is in haste to get out of it, mournfully impatient to have done with a painful task.” This passage of the discourse of Jesus here has been called a ‘prelude of Gethsemane’

2. The Lucan Jesus has come during the era of Augustan peace, as a sign of peace among human beings; he has not come as the fiery reformer that John once expected. Yet his ministry is now described by him as a source of discord among the very people he came to serve and save. Even in his own family the Lucan Jesus’ career brought a ‘sword’ to pierce his mother’s own soul.

3. If Jesus had not come, the earth would have gone on undisturbed in its sin and guilt until the day of its doom. But he came to take away that sin and guilt by the cross. There was at once division, many refused to have their sin and their guilt removed by the cross. In Matthew’s word there war, men fought the cross, there came to be two hostile camps. Jesus foresaw it. He declared emphatically that this is exactly what he came to give on earth is division. It is better that some accept the cross that that all the earth should perish in its sin.

4. Jesus’ coming would inevitably mean division; in point of fact it did. That was one of the great reasons why the Romans hated Christianity – it tore families in two. Over and over again people had to decide whether they loved better their families or Christ. The essence of Christianity is that loyalty to Christ takes precedence to loyalty to family members.

5. This is the sample of the worst division that Jesus brought, the breaking of intimate family ties. Jesus takes one of the smallest Jewish families which consisted of father, mother, married son and his wife, and one unmarried daughter. According to Oriental custom, the son brings wife to live with him – the daughter who is unmarried, will go to his husband’s house after marriage. Here we can usually see two parties, two against three or three against three. The three young people against the two elders, two men against three women or any other possible combinations among the five.
This gospel passage, make us to question the mission of Jesus. Though we may speak favourably about inter-religious marriages, we still want our sons and daughters to find their life-partners from our own faith to avoid problems in the future. For a Jew to think of following a fellow Jew who claims to be the Son of man is not all that easy. Those people, who dared to follow Jesus, certainly would have undergone family conflicts and divisions within their families. It would have not created peaceful atmosphere for them in the family. But the point to be noted here is, the inner peace which a person experiences as a result of following Jesus surpasses and makes insignificant the peace he/she has lost in the family.
Courtesy
The Interpretation of St. Luke’s Gospel
The Pulpit Commentary
The Sacra Pagina Series
William Barclay the New Study Bible
The Anchor Bible Series

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