Signs of the Times

“The times, they are a changing.” I think that is how the saying goes. And this is the message Jesus told the people in Luke 12.54-59. Things are going to change – are you paying attention? Jesus has just given instruction to his disciples and now he addresses “the crowds” (v.54a).

Discerning the Way of God

Jesus, as is his custom, utilizes nature to make his point about the people. First, they can tell, but a cloud in the west, that rain is coming. It may begin small, but soon it will pregnant with rain and will open up for the land to receive it. “And so it happens.” Second, a wind will kick up from the south. Obviously, the people know, there is going to be a heat wave hit the land. “And it happens.” Jesus rebukes them for this ability to reconize the signs of the seasons but fail to see the signs of the time. They are hypocrites, two-faced, two-minded. They fail to see that prophetic word is coming to fulfillment even before their very eyes: the Messiah has come. They are weather-wise, but they are not Word-wise. For that, Jesus has nothing complimentary to say.

Making Peace with God

Because of their lack of preparation and inability to discern God’s way, Jesus admonishes them to seek peace with God, the supreme Judge. “Judge for yourselves,” Jesus says. Even without Jesus there before them they should be able to find their way with the light of Scripture. The way they are to seek is peace. Otherwise, there is bad news: the one who does not prepare to face the judge only has hard time to look forward to. There is still a debt before them, there are still charges unsettled. Therefore, the Judge has no choice but to throw the book at you.

The nation of Israel was marching toward certain judgment and destruction with both ears covered and their eyes squeezed shut. They refused to hear and heed the word of God and so they would face the full fury of God’s holy wrath. Indeed, we too are marching toward certain disaster if we act in much the same way, refusing to hear the word of the Lord. We can tell you the forecast for the next five days, but fail to acknowledge the coming storm of God’s anger because of our sins. God will have no choice but to sentence us, lock us up in eternal torment, and throw away the key. “Today is the day of salvation” – settle your account.

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