Luke 12:49

Not Peace but Division

49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!

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Luke 12:49 in Other Translations

KJV
49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?
ESV
49 "I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled!
NLT
49 “I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning!
MSG
49 "I've come to start a fire on this earth - how I wish it were blazing right now!
CSB
49 "I came to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already set ablaze!

Luke 12:49 Meaning and Commentary

Luke 12:49

I am come to send fire on the earth
Meaning either the Gospel, which is as fire, that gives both light and heat, warms the hearts of God's people, and causes them to burn within them; though very distressing and torturing to wicked men; so the word of God is compared to fire, in ( Jeremiah 20:9 ) ( 23:29 ) . Or else zeal for it, and which would be opposed with sharp contentions by others; or rather persecution for the sake of the Gospel, called sometimes the fiery trial; which tries men, as gold is tried in the fire, what they are, and what their principles and profession be; unless the Holy Ghost, and baptizing with him, and with fire, should be meant; since Christ in the next verse, speaks of the baptism of his sufferings, which that was to follow:

and what will I?
what shall I say concerning this fire? what shall I wish and pray for? what would be pleasing and agreeable to me? even this,

if it be already kindled;
or "that it were already kindled", or "O that it were already kindled"; meaning either that the Gospel was warmly preached by his disciples, and zealously defended by them, as it was after his death and resurrection; or that hot persecution was raised against it which was now beginning, since the advantage of it would be far greater than the evil in it: or that the Holy Ghost was come down in cloven tongues, like as of fire.

Luke 12:49 In-Context

47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows.
48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!
50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed!
51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.
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