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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE - Chapter 12 - Verse 49

Verse 49. I am come, &c. The result of my coming will be that there will be divisions and contentions. He does not mean that he came for that purpose, or that he sought and desired it; but that such was the state of the human heart, and such the opposition of men to the truth, that that would be the effect of his coming. See Barnes "Mt 10:34".

 

Fire. Fire, here, is the emblem of discord and contention, and consequently of calamities. Thus it is used in Ps 66:12 Is 43:2. And what will I, &c. This passage might be better expressed in this manner:

"And what would I, but that it were kindled. Since it is

necessary for the advancement of religion that

such divisions should take place; since the gospel

cannot be established without conflicts, and strifes,

and hatreds, I am even desirous that they should come.

Since the greatest blessing which mankind can receive

must be attended with such unhappy divisions, I am

willing, nay, desirous that they should come."

He did not wish evil in itself; but, as it was the occasion of good, he was desirous, if it must take place, that it should take place soon. From this we learn—

1st. That the promotion of religion may be expected to produce many contests and bitter feelings.

2nd. That the heart of man must be exceedingly wicked, or it would not oppose a work like the Christian religion.

3rd. That though God cannot look on evil with approbation, yet, for the sake of the benefit which may grow out of it, he is willing to permit it, and suffer it to come into the world.

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