Luke 12:54-56 Look Around You
Today our reading is short and straight to the point. Luke is sharing with us snippets of teachings Jesus did before the crowds. Today’s teaching is about being alert to the signs.
There are signs all around us that alert us to what is going on. Jesus identifies meteorological signs that are common knowledge in His day as His examples. The main industry in the area was farming so His audience well recognized the truths contained in these signs. As farmers they lived and died by the weather so they watched it closely.
Jesus is talking about another group of signs though. These were being ignored or played off as something else entirely by the religious leaders. Jesus was referencing prophecies being fulfilled right in front of their eyes and the miracles being performed on a daily basis. These signs should have been just as obvious to those looking. But unlike the farmer who WAS looking, the religious leaders of the time were burying their heads and refusing to look.
Burying their heads didn’t make the truths revealed by the signs any less valid. It didn’t stop what the signs were warning about from coming to be. It didn’t even prevent the fallout afterwards from happening. What God promised came about anyway.
I was thinking about the religious leaders’ behavior; namely their refusal to believe what was being played out right before their eyes; and was realizing it was also Satan blinding them with his lies. They believed the lies he told them about getting rid of Jesus would ensure their power. They bought into his whole deception, not because he is all powerful but because it went along with what they wanted to believe.
Their behavior reminds me of the kings of Israel from the past who would call for the prophets to come and prophecy to them. The prophets who didn’t say what they wanted to hear were the ones to suffer the king’s wrath. It didn’t matter to them that the prophecies that tickled their ears were false. They only wanted to hear how they were going to succeed.
When thinking about this I also got a picture of my little brother when he was a toddler. He would get into things that he KNEW he wasn’t supposed to, like any child will do. But when he was caught by my mom, he would close his eyes really tight thinking that if he couldn’t see her she couldn’t see him and he would be safe from the trouble. Problem was life didn’t work that way just because he wanted it to or thought it should. The same holds true for the religious leaders who dealt with Jesus. They could close their eyes all they wanted and it didn’t make a bit of difference.
If you get right down to it, their deliberate blindness played right into God’s hands. God’s plan called for Israel to reject and crucify Jesus. If the religious leaders HAD accepted Jesus they never would have done what God knew was required. Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice but they had to draw the knife. No other option would have resulted in our salvation. We know this because Jesus asked His Father the night He was betrayed for an alternate plan. There was none, so He completed the course set out from the beginning. But those who played a part in it WILL answer for it on judgement day.
We need to be alert to the signs of our times too. We are not finished with the prophecies of the bible. We are awaiting our Savior’s final return. There are signs that show us when that is to happen. Not the day or the hour but the spiritual season. I started to say that I can’t fault the religious leaders entirely for missing the signs because I am uncertain about the signs of our times. But these men were the elite and were supposed to know these things. I am NO WHERE near as educated in bible prophecy as they were, so they are more accountable for their blindness. But I do know that there are signs all around us that the time is near for Jesus to return. I don’t know how soon but I wouldn’t be surprised by His return at any moment. So we need to be ready when He comes. Be prepared for His coming as if it is today but work as if it is years away.
Father God, thank You for the warning signs. Thank You that I know ALL Your promises are true. I don’t understand them all but I trust You to reveal them to me in Your time. I wonder if I would have missed the signs in the days of Jesus. Would I have been taking the “wait and see” attitude or would I have been hanging on His every word? I pray it is the latter. Please give me discernment as to who to listen to about the signs of today. Thank You that I don’t have to be anxious about what it happening, but I still need to be alert. Help me know how to respond to what is going on appropriately. Show me which way to turn and which way to go. I trust You to care for me no matter what comes; here on earth or in Heaven with You.
February 27, 2017 @ 5:31 PM
So. While reading your blog this morning, three songs rose up in my spirit: two secular, and one southern gospel – all of them dating back to the days of my youth.
The first was: “Look around you, look up here. Take time to make time, make time to be there. Look around you, be a part. Feel for the winter but don’t have a cold heart…”
The second: “Signs, signs, everywhere a sign; blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind. Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the signs?”
And, finally: “Signs of the times are every where. There’s a brand new feeling in the air. Keep your eyes upon the eastern sky. Lift up your head, redemption draweth nigh.”
As I meditated on how these songs related to your sharing, I was impressed that the first points to direction (look up HERE!) and speaks of being in the moment – participating not just observing – recognize the cold reality of harsh times, but be warm in caring and reaching out to others. The second points out the harsh reality that following signs can become overwhelming – they’re EVERYWHERE! They don’t all complement each other; they don’t all point in the same direction; it can be mind boggling trying to discern which signs are significant to our journey and which are distractions to lead us off course.
But the third, while recognizing that signs are everywhere, brings us back to focus on what is important: keep looking for Jesus – His return is closer now than when we first believed. Reading the signs still won’t tell us the day or the hour – but knowing HIM and knowing that He WILL return should keep us in a position of great expectation.
Thank you, Annette, for another thought provoking post.
(PS – I changed my email subscription over to one that actually works!)
February 28, 2017 @ 5:07 AM
Thank you for sharing those songs. I think I’ve heard the first one but not the others. I kept thinking of a song too but didn’t put a link in for it. It’s about astrological signs and how those are just signs of the times but the Ichthus is the sign of eternity.
I agree that deciding which signs to attend to can be confusing. I have closed my eyes and ears to a lot of the shouts about “grab your money out of the bank because…” and “stock up on…” I don’t know if that means I’m burying my head in the sand or simply trusting God to take care of me. I believe it is the second, but if God REALLY wants to get my attention and get me to “run for the hills” I know He will find a way to do it.
I DON’T want to be the guy who died in a flood after a rowboat, a motorboat and a helicopter stopped by to pick him up. He kept saying “No thank you. God will save me.” When he stood before God and asked Him why he let him drown, God said, “I sent you a rowboat a motorboat and a helicopter! What more did you want?”
February 28, 2017 @ 8:14 PM
I hear you. I don’t want to be “that guy” either! But like you, I also trust God to get to me the messages He wants me to have. I tend to look at the kinds of messages you mentioned as being a Chicken Little kind of panic: The sky is falling! The sky is falling!!
I know that in an apocalyptic-type scenario, I don’t have the skill set to survive on my own. In a community, yes – I would have skills to contribute. So the limit of my advance preparations is about a months worth of groceries on hand at any give time. But then…I’ve always been a “save money by buying in quantity” kinda gal. So that’s not anything out of the ordinary.
March 1, 2017 @ 1:24 AM
Chicken Little is exactly how I see that too. I have a well stocked pantry as a normal routine and have added water, battery powered lights and a camp stove to my arsenal since our last big storm. That is my limit, unless God Himself tells me to do more. I thank Him immensely for the resources to get that much ahead.
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