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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#1077. Jesus’ baptism plunges us into a new life (13/6/24)

This week in our series in Luke, we are reflecting on Luke 12:35-57. Today we see that Jesus suffered to save us and we may well have to suffer for Him. 

“I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!  But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, 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 daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”’ (Luke 12:49-53) 

Lesson: Jesus’ baptism into death plunges us into a new life that involves salvation and may attract rejection. 


To listen to this video, follow the link below:



Many things can bring division into a family or community. As we approach a general election, and as we are seeing in politics in other parts of the world, this can be a great cause of division. Many people make rules such as, ‘let’s not talk about religion or politics’ and this is because they are so important that they can divide us. In many countries it’s illegal to convert to Christianity and one would certainly suffer a great deal if one was to confess conversion to Christ. 

Jesus begins this section with” 

‘“I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!”’ 

This is a reference to the fire of hatred that many who know Christ will experience. To reinforce this idea, He adds:

‘“Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.  From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, 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 daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”’

I hope we can see the cost of following Christ may be rejection. As we stand up for Christ, the gospel and Christian values, we may suffer the fire of division as Jesus himself suffered. 


It’s worth noting that when He says, ‘“how I wish it were already kindled!”’ He is not speaking of a strange desire for this conflict! Rather, He is speaking of His desire to get past His suffering and to the other side of the cross. In these last days we must be prepared to suffer the fire of conflict for our faith. In speaking of the fire of persecution, He is also speaking of the sanctifying - improving - effect on those who are prepared to keep loving Jesus even when they suffer for it. 


Christians’ suffering is likened to fire, and Jesus' suffering is likened to ‘baptism’. 

‘“But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed!”’ 

Here, reference to Jesus’ baptism, is about His going down into death for us and being raised from death. The act of Baptism is designed to be symbolic of Jesus’ death and resurrection that saves us. Yes, we may have to suffer the ‘fire’ and ‘division’ for our faith, but Jesus has suffered so much more. 


Response

Jesus’ baptism into death plunges us into a new live that involves salvation and may attract rejection. Whilst, of course, we may well never truly suffer for our faith, we will all face various pressures to be ashamed, compromise or to keep our faith private. Let’s remember Jesus’ love as expressed in this ‘baptism’ into death for us. Let’s remember His resurrection and that He has promised to be with us. Let’s trust that He will help us, by The Spirit, to remain faithful to Him no matter what. 

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News. 


2. Icebreaker

How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you? 


3. Worship together

Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.


4. Study and pray together

Our message on Sunday was entitled, Living in light of Jesus love and His return. In this section, we see how Jesus’ love for us caused Him to suffer ‘be baptised’ to save us; We are also challenged to respond and ask if our love for Christ leads to costly loyalty whilst we with for His coming? 


Please read Luke 12:35-57, and discuss: 

  • Note - We only covered verses 49-53 on Sunday, so do use the devotionals which will help us to reflect on the rest of the section. 

  • What would you say is the main message and application of Luke 12:35-57? 

  • Did God speak to you about anything specifically from Sunday’s message?

  • Read 12:35-48: How does Jesus want us to live in the light of His coming?

  • Read 12:49-53: 

  • What can be the cost of living for Christ and are we prepared for this?

  • What does it mean for Jesus to be ‘baptised’ for us? 

  • SIV - How does our preparedness to suffer make us more effective in helping to bring people to Jesus? 

  • SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ recently?

  • SIV - Spend some time together talking and praying about who and how you are seeking to bring your community to Jesus. 

  • Let’s pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV; and pray for anything else that's come out of our time in God’s Word.

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