“Clouded” (Luke 12:54-57)
Passage by Passage: Luke 12 series, episode 10
by: Marven T. Baldo
He said to the multitudes also, “When you see a cloud rising from the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. When a south wind blows, you say, ‘There will be a scorching heat.’ And it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky, but how is it that you don’t interpret this time? Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? (Luke 12:54-57)
Jesus unequivocally proclaimed Himself to be the Messiah during one of the instances He taught the Scriptures at a synagogue in His hometown. There, He expounded a passage in Isaiah that specifically talks about Him, and then He set out on a way of life to live it out and thus set up the spiritual aspect of His earthly kingdom. As He went from town to town with His disciples, the simple townsfolk to whom His words are as clear as day easily understood what He was about and had no trouble seeing Him as the promised Messiah. That is why in their excitement after the feeding of the five thousand, they already decided to set Him over them as King. But Jesus didn’t take advantage of the hype but instead fled to a mountain, thinking that He first needs to fulfill the first part of His Messiahship, which is to atone for the sins of His people and of the entire world.
Sadly, the group of people who should have been more excited at the arrival of their King are the ones who were easily offended by the manner in which He chose to appear to them. To them, it is an anomaly that an ordinary Galilean workman who dares to teach the Scriptures apart from them and who makes Himself sound smarter and more spiritual than they and also to perform miracles by the power of who knows who should be the Messiah. That simply doesn’t meet their expectations and standards. They don’t want to trouble themselves with a little bit of mental exertion to try to understand what He was about. They couldn’t see past His humble appearance. But they could put meaning to things that really don’t have any meaning. They could see the cloud and tell that it is about to rain. They could see the speck of dust in other people’s eyes, but they couldn’t see the beam in front of theirs which they don’t realize blocks their view.
If they truly believed in Moses, if they are really passionate about the Scriptures and are taking it seriously, they would see Jesus for who He truly is and wouldn’t be offended at Him. It would like the spark of a light bulb next to their heads. He is actually the One whom the whole Scriptures speak of and have been looking forward to. It is really not that difficult to believe in Him.
The Lord Jesus may have come on too strong and in a way that proved intolerable to a group of people in an institution whose mindset for the past two or three centuries have been pampered by what it perceives its importance. Had they been sober, they would have realized that the One whom the nation, especially they the disciples of Moses, has been waiting for has come. They would have celebrated and jumped for joy as they see the words of Moses and of the other prophets being fulfilled right in front of their eyes. But pride has blinded them so that they couldn’t see what was obvious. Instead, they focused and concentrated all their time and effort in sucking in the adulation of their docile parishioners, adding things to the Scriptures instead of actually carefully studying and conscientiously expounding it, and plotting to rid themselves of a rival.
Did God the Son come in the wrong place at a wrong time when His nation was being ruled by the Romans under the reigns of Augustus and then Tiberius? Maybe so, humanly speaking. Could He have chosen a better time when the religious establishment which also acts as a political power is not carrying with it a holdover of the corrupt mindset of the past few centuries so that the Messiah can be freely received by His people without misgivings?
As far as God the Father is concerned, this is the perfect time, the fullness of time for God the Son to be born of a woman and born under the law. This is God’s decree. It is only through these circumstances can God the Son fulfill the requirements of what was stated in the Scriptures that He gave to His people.