7677 - Read the Signs

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At the end of Luke 12 Jesus censures those in the crowd who were listening to his words, but who had not made a decision about how they should respond to him. Time was growing short for people to respond. Soon he would give his life as an atoning sacrifice on a cross in Jerusalem.

Listen to the words of Luke 12:54-59:
54He said to the crowd: "When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, 'It's going to rain,' and it does. 55And when the south wind blows, you say, 'It's going to be hot,' and it is. 56Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don't know how to interpret this present time?

57"Why don't you judge for yourselves what is right? 58As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled to him on the way, or he may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny."

Some of the people in the crowds which came to hear Jesus had been showing up during the past two years or so to hear him. There was a magnetism in what this man Jesus said. He wasn’t selling anything. He didn’t ask for money. But what he said was food for thought. Some came back time & time again, but had never made a decision about what to do regarding this man or his message.

To these Jesus gave an intellectual argument. Many of the people were wise in predicting the weather. A cloud rising from the Mediterranean in the west was a signal to these people that there would soon be rain.

Another key factor in knowing what would happen was to observe the direction of the wind. A wind blowing from the south told these people that it was going to be hot.

These facts caused them to make decisions. A cloud in the west. I need to prepare for rain. A south wind. Oh, I won’t need a coat today. It’s going to be hot.

Jesus chided them for being able to make so many correct decisions by observing the weather signs, but for months they had been listening to his words, and observing the many, many miracles of healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, even raising the dead; yet without a decision.

His inference is that they should also have the spiritual knowledge to discern his miraculous ministry clearly was a fulfillment of many prophetic passages regarding the Messiah whom the Jews were anticipating. Just as surely as the signs of the sky foretold the weather, the Scriptures told of the Messiah who would heal the sick, restore sight to the blind & raise the dead. Why were they having difficulty in discerning truth?

Could it be political pressure from the Jewish leaders that prevented them from accepting the Messiah?

Then Jesus steps into the political scene to warn them. He reminded them that it is far wiser to be reconciled with an adversary long before it comes to the point of standing before a judge. The judge could rule you guilty and throw you into prison. In such cases you are not released until the last penny of debt is paid.

Look behind these words and we gain a spiritual message. If any person is restrained from faith in Jesus because of their fear of being thrown out of the synagogue, they stand in danger of being cast into eternal punishment when they stand before the final judge in time.

Unspoken at this time is the truth that Jesus would soon pay the penalty for every sin performed by a human being. Every stain of sin is washed from the person who by faith receives the offer of cleansing & reconciliation through Jesus Christ.

It is painful to be aware that the many who refuse to come to Jesus by faith will, by their own choice, remain in spiritual death. This means that in the judgment they will be sent to eternal suffering in the second death called hell, from which there is no exit.