Opening Thoughts: Weather is likely one of the most commonly used topics for small talk. I likely talk with people about the weather five to ten times a day, give or take a few. It’s an easy conversation opener and there are actually ways you can make it interesting as well. Weather affects many aspects of our life, such as our work (shops are less busy if it’s pouring rain and farmers have to prepare if it will rain or if there comes a drought), as well as vacations and events. Have you ever planned an amazing outdoor event that you are so excited about and as the day draws near you discover it’s supposed to rain that very day? The only reason you know of this unfortunate turn of events is because we have the “luxury” of having people who have been trained to read the weather (weatherman). How do they do it? I mean how can you tell the future right? I couldn’t exactly tell you, but I do know that most of the time they’re right, and that there’s a science to it.
The greater something affects your life the more time you invest into studying it, this is why Farmers have been buying the “Farmers Almanac” since 1818, because planning for the future seasons is what farmers do. In this text we will observe how Jesus turns His focus from the disciples (in the previous verses) and now takes this very question to the crowds who are listening to Him, except Jesus isn’t using weather for ‘small talk’. How they hear will greatly determine their eternal destiny.
Luke 12:54-59 ESV .. He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
“And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny.”
Cloud Rising, Wind Blowing: Because the people of Jesus time could not depend on a weather channel nor a ‘Farmers Almanac’ they had to be versed themselves. If you were caught out at sea in a bad storm or maybe making a journey in the scorching heat, it could mean your life was at stake. Not to know the signs of the weather could be costly.
A cloud rising over the Mediterranean brought moist air that caused it to rain as it climbed the cooler hills of Palestine, and the south wind blowing involved a sirocco (hot, dry wind) blowing in from the desert, bringing scorching heat. The people of the time could interpret the signs of the weather very well, yet standing in front of them was the King of Kings and they could not see it. The prophetic words from the scriptures they read daily were literally unfolding in front of their very eyes. The dead were raised yet they brushed it off, demons were cast out and they accused Him of casting out demons by the power of demons, the lame, crippled, lepers and even blind eyes were opened, yet they would scold Him for performing on the wrong day of the week. Everything Jesus did to prove that He was the Messiah could not be seen by this very natural and self-righteous generation. Yet as we look around at the church today, without pointing a finger I have to wonder how we’re doing with this?
Better to settle out of court: “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny.” The scripture is full of messages to the church of settling our business outside of court, as when the courts are involved the stakes are high. In the natural if a criminal is offered a lesser sentence by their accuser in exchange for pleading guilty, they can usually settle the score without a trial. However, if the guilty party is drug into court and they plead their innocence and worse yet their goodness, their consequences will be so much greater when they receive them.
Jesus is putting this very circumstance to the crowds. He’s saying that the very reason He had to come to earth is evidence of their (and our) guilt. He is the accuser of the wicked, of the unregenerate, and they will one day face the Judge of all Judges to plead their case, yet the evidence will be stacked up so high against them that there will be no chance of their escape. The Judge will have them cast into the prison of hell and the debt will be extracted from them to the utmost. There is one problem though, once we have passed on from this life carrying our debt of sin, the Bible makes it clear that we can never make satisfaction for it, yet it will be continually demanded for all of eternity. The debt will be demanded and the payment will never be suffice.
The Good News is that Christ’s sufferings made full provision for our debts. His payment was perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If you or I try to add a single penny (so to speak) to Christ’s finished work, we make it void for ourselves. If you are walking under the weight of your sins this very moment then you are waiting to be handed over to God as because you are His adversary. I pray this will not be how it ends for you. Heed the words of Jesus and how He is imploring us to make every effort to settle with Him outside of court. Therefore, instead of ending in a trial facing a judge, we fall into the hands of a Father. This is now the in-between time, we have all violated God’s commands, we are all headed to our court date, by repentance and faith in Christ we can have settlement through Christ’s life, death and atonement for our sin. I beg you, as Jesus did to this crowd, trust in Him alone before it be too late, be reconciled to God today. The offer is on the table, what will you do with it?
Hebrews 9:27-28 ESV .. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
Grace & Peace, Shane Martin