The Gospel of Luke ~ Chapter 12:47-50 ~ There is a More Severe Punishment for Some in the Lake of Fire ~ To Whom Much is Given Much is Required. Lesser Punishment for the Unwitting Unbeliever ~ Jesus’ Strong Desire to Defeat Sin & Satan Constrained Him. The Baptism of the Cross.

Vol. 19, No. 25 – July 5, 2020

7 5 20-Luke 12 vs 47-50 The WordThe Gospel of Luke
Chapter 12

Vs. 45-48, The unfaithful steward will be condemned. Here, we have an example of the unbelieving servant. This reminds us that everyone is a child of God and is also a servant of God, even the unbeliever!

Vs. 47,

Luke 12:47, “And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes.”

Here, we have the significance of the condemnation of the “slave / servant,” DOULOS, who has rejected Jesus Christ as their Savior / Messiah / King, and leads others to do the same.

Interestingly, this slave, “knew,” GINOSKO, γινώσκω in the Aorist, Active, Participle, Nominative, that means, “to know, become aware, perceive, understand, or be conscious of.” Here, they knew the Lord’s / Master’s “will,” the noun THELEMA, θέλημα, that means, “will, desire, purpose, or inclination.” By this analogy, this is the person who learned the Word of God and has responsibility to teach it to others.

1 John 3:23, “And this is his mandate, that we believe in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he has given to us a mandate.” This verse is the will or desire of God. It reduces the will of God to its utmost simplicity; i.e., that the entire human race believe in Jesus Christ for salvation. Once saved, it mandates that all believers function under Impersonal Love of the Royal Family Honor Code toward all other members of the human race. Therefore, the main principle of God’s Will is for the unbeliever to be saved, and for the believer to live the unique spiritual life of the Church Age.

In Mark’s Gospel, “doing God’s will” is the supreme example of discipleship, Mark 3:35; parallel Mat 12:50; cf. Heb 13:21; 1 John 2:17. Then, Mat 7:21, indicates such action provides the proper credentials for entrance into the Kingdom.

Mat 7:21, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”

The will of God the Father is for everyone to believe upon His Son for salvation. For the unbeliever to be obedient to God’s will, means they are obedient to Jesus by believing in Him as their Savior / Messiah / King.

Eph 5:17, “So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

1 Tim 2:3-4, “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

God revealed His intentions to carry this out in the person of Jesus Christ, Eph 1:9, “He (God the Father) made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him, (God the Son).”

In this context, the will of the “master” KURIOS, is for everyone to come to salvation through the knowledge and belief in Jesus Christ as their Savior, who is the Lord God. The slave who knew the master’s will, (i.e., believe in Jesus as your Savior), “and did not get ready or act in accord with his will,” is the one who has been given the information necessary to come to know Jesus as their Savior, but has rejected Him as such. This was the plight of the Pharisees of Jesus’ time, as it continues to be the plight of the false teachers of religion who say that salvation is accomplished in other ways than simply believing in Jesus as your Savior.

Did not get ready” uses the negative Particle ME with the Aorist, Active, Participle, Nominative Verb HETOIMAZO, ἑτοιμάζω that means, “put or keep in readiness, or to prepare.” It means to, “get ready or prepare” for something. In this case, it means prepared for the 2nd Coming of the Lord, which begins by believing in Him based on His 1st Advent. This is the same imagery as the Virgins and their lamps. The believing virgins had their lamps prepared and were ready for the return of the Lord. The unbelieving virgins had no oil in their lamps and were not prepared for His return, Mat 25:10-12.

Mat 25:10-12, “And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ 12But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you’.”

“Or act in accord with his will,” in the Greek is E POIEO PROS HO THELEMA. God’s will for the unbeliever is to believe in His Son Jesus Christ for salvation. This slave did not do that. Instead, they rejected Jesus as their Messiah / Savior / King, and therefore did not receive salvation. They did not act according to His will.

Therefore, in the first part, the preparedness is to have their lamps filled with oil, which means hear or receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the second part is to believe it for salvation. Instead, these unbelievers, also called hypocrites in Matthew’s parallel account, do not give a true hearing to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and do not believe upon it for salvation. Remember, God’s great command to Israel in Deut 6:4, called the great SHAMA, “Hear O’ Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one.” This is the Doctrine of the Trinity, and that Jesus Christ, who is Lord, is also God incarnate who took away the sins of the world, cf. Rom 9:5; Col 1:16-19.

John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” 

John 17:21, “That they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.”

1 John 2:2, “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”

John 14:6, Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

Jesus Christ is the mechanism for salvation that the unbeliever rejects, as they do not give Him a hearing, nor do they believe upon Him for salvation.

Now, the consequence for those willfully rejecting God’s will and plan for salvation, is that they “will receive many lashes,” using the Adjective, POLUS, “many,” with the Future, Passive, Indicative of the Verb DERO, δέρω that means, “beat, strike, or scourge.” The original use of this word meant, “to skin or flay,” cf. the LXX use in Lev 1:6; 2 Chron 29:34; 35:11. It later developed into “to beat, whip, or scourge.” It was also used for our Lord’s beating/scourging prior to the Crucifixion, Luke 22:63; John 18:23. Interestingly, because man rejects the scourging Jesus received for the forgiveness of our sins and salvation, Isa 53:5, 10; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Cor 15:3, they will be scourged in the eternal Lake of Fire.

Isa 53:5, “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.” 

1 Peter 2:24, “And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”

Isa 53:10, “But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.”

1 Cor 15:3, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” 

Now, remember the context here, “the one who knew God’s will and did not do it.” This has a special meaning in regard to those who are using the Scriptures but do not truly understand them or are falsifying them for some reason. This is the false teacher of false doctrines, which the Pharisees in Jesus’ day were.

Mat 23:13, “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”

They had the Scriptures, the Prophets, the Law, the Promises, etc., but misinterpreted them and even falsified them for their own purposes. These false teachers, just as all false teachers, will receive greater punishment in the eternal state.

Rom 9:4, “Who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, 5whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.”

The doctrine of more severe punishment in Hell for the false teachers, comes from two directions.

1. The first is logical in that since there are different rewards for believers in heaven there must be different levels of punishment for those in Hell. James 1:12, 1 Cor 3:10-15; Rev 2-3, are verses that tell us of different rewards in heaven.

James 1:12, “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

2. The second direction is from the scriptures that emphasize greater condemnation in the Lake of Fire., Mark 12:38-40; Luke 12:48; 20:45-47, (some manuscripts have it in Mat 23:14, but not the earliest ones). Notice the last phrase of Luke 20:47.

Luke 20:45-47, “And while all the people were listening, He said to the disciples, 46“Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets, 47who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation”.”

This is also stated in Mark 12:40. Greater condemnation is viewed as greater levels of punishment in Hell. This doctrine has few scriptures for comparison so many commentators skip over it and act like it is not even there. As such, there has not been a lot of discussion in theology about this topic.

The Greek word for “condemnation” is the word KRIMA that is the basic/root word for judgment. So, a greater/more extensive judgment is brought against these individuals.

Luke 10:14-15, is another passage that leads to the doctrine of greater judgment. In vs. 14, the word for judgment is KRISIS, which also means a decision made or sentence.

Luke 10:14-15, “But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you (those Israelites who reject Jesus Christ). 15And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades!”

This is a more severe judgement as seen in the next verse where there is a difference between an unfaithful servant and an ignorant servant. The ignorant still receives a beating, a “light beating” compared to what the unfaithful servant receives, but it is still a beating.

Vs. 48,

Luke 12:48, “But the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”

In this verse, we see that the layman unbeliever will receive lesser punishment than the false teacher. In the first half of this verse, our Lord is once again using language of accommodation with imagery of ancient judicial punishments. Here, our Lord is speaking about an unbeliever who will also be sentenced to the Lake of Fire; yet receive less severe punishment in that place.

In this passage, we have a contrast of unbelievers, using the Greek contrasting Conjunction DE, “but.” In vs. 47, the unbeliever who had the Word of God and all the promises like Israel did, yet did not act upon them with faith, will receive a more severe punishment in eternity.

In this verse, we have another type of unbeliever. One that did not have as much of the Word and Promises preached or given to them, yet they did have the Gospel preached to them and still rejected it. This second group will still go to the Lake of Fire because of their rejection of Jesus Christ, but the punishment there will seemingly be less severe.

This is also a contrast of ignorance. Ignorance can mean unwittingly not knowing something or willfully choosing to ignore something. (See the Doctrine of Ignorance on our website,

The first servant had willful ignorance where they knew the information or had it made available to them and chose not to apply it, Rom 9:3-5.

Rom 9:3-5, “For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, 4who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, 5whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.”

In the second example, the servant was ignorant, (ME GINOSKO – “did not know”), due to a lack of information, which is still no excuse, as in our judicial system where, “ignorance is no excuse for the law.” This means that regardless of ones knowledge of the laws of the land, if you break the law you are guilty by it. Your defense can not be, “I did not know,” cf. Rom 10:3; Lev 4:2; 5:17-19; Num 15:27-29, with Num 15:30-31.

Lev 5:17, “Now if a person sins and does any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, though he was unaware, still he is guilty and shall bear his punishment.”

Num 15:29, “You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the sons of Israel (has knowledge of the Law) and for the alien who sojourns among them (does not have knowledge of the Law).”

Num 15:30-31, “But the person who does anything defiantly, (having knowledge of the Law – willful ignorance) whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from among his people. 31Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be on him.” (Notice the more severe punishment for those committing willful sin.)

Rom 10:3, “For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God”

The unbelieving Jews had the Law, prophets, Temple, etc., and chose not to apply it properly and distorted it, Acts 13:26.

Acts 13:26, “Brethren, sons of Abraham’s family, and those among you who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent. 27For those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, recognizing neither Him nor the utterances of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled these by condemning Him. 28And though they found no ground for putting Him to death, they asked Pilate that He be executed.”

The unbelieving Gentiles did not have the Law, but still had opportunity to know God and His plan of salvation, yet they rejected it too, Rom 1:19-22.

Rom 1:19-22, “Because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing to be wise, they became fools.”

So, we have several contrasting comparisons, for example: unbelieving false teachers vs. unbelieving layman; unbelieving Jew vs. unbelieving Gentile; willfully ignorant vs. unwittingly ignorant. Nevertheless, both will go to the Eternal Lake of Fire because of their rejection of Jesus Christ as their Savior, yet the first groups will receive a more severe punishment in that place compared to the second groups. 

“Committed deeds worthy of a flogging,” POIEO AXIOS PLEGE, uses judicial language in analogy to the spiritual realm. Remember, a person does not go to hell because of their “deeds.” They go there because of their rejection of Jesus Christ, where their name has been blotted out of the Book of Life, Rev 20:12, 15.

Rev 20:12, “And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.”

Rev 20:15, “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, (cf. Rev 3:5; Psa 69:28; cf. Phil 4:3), he was thrown into the Lake of Fire.”

Flogging,” is the Noun PLEGE πληγή that means, “blow, stroke, wound, stripes, or plague and calamity.” It is predominately used in the book of Revelation for the various kinds of plagues that come upon the earth during the Tribulation. Luke used it in Chapter 10:30, for the parable of the Good Samaritan, and in Acts 16:23, 33 in the famous passage of bringing salvation to the Jailer and his family. And finally, Paul used it in 2 Cor 6:5; 11:23, regarding the beatings he took for the sake of Jesus Christ. In all, it speaks of inflicting punishment onto someone else. Here, the flogging is the judicial punishment by God accompanying the unbelievers’ imprisonment to the Lake of Fire.

The additional punishment / flogging this ignorant unbeliever “will receive (in the Lake of Fire is) but few.” The Greek uses the Future, Passive, Indicative of the Verb DERO once again that says, “will receive a beating,” with the Adjective OLIGOS that means, “little, small, short, or few.” So we have, “will receive a little beating.” They still will be in the Lake of Fire for all of eternity, yet their agony will not be quite as severe as the willfully ignorant unbeliever.

Now, in the second half of this verse, which should have been its own separate verse, gives us our context, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”

This gives us the context of the entire passage and a response to Peter’s inquiry in vs. 41, “Lord, are You addressing this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?” The direct answer to Peter is “both.”

As we previously stated above, every member of the human race is a servant of the Lord and is accountable to Him for their life. Some people, like the Israelites, have been given much more information and promises from God, along with much more accountability. But, as we noted in the previous verse, even the ignorant, those not given as much information as the Israelites, are still accountable to God for their personal salvation and life.

“Everyone who has been given much,” is PAS HOS DIDOMI POLUS. This certainly is speaking to the people and nation of Israel who are God’s chosen people. Yet, it also addresses certain Gentiles who have been given much opportunity to learn and teach the Word of God. Like the Jewish Pharisees, there are many Gentile false teachers of false doctrines, who quote Scriptures, yet teach another Gospel.

“Much will be required,” uses POLUS with the Future, Passive, Indicative of the Verb ZETEO that means, “seek, look for, wish for, desire, inquire into or about,” PARA AUTOS. Therefore, it reads, “much will be sought or desired from him.”

As such, since certain groups or individuals have been given greater opportunities by God, He will seek diligently more from them, especially their acceptance of Jesus as their Savior / Messiah / King. If they are found without faith in Jesus, to the extent that God gave them more opportunity, He will discipline them all the more in the Lake of Fire.

Next, we have a repetition of the principle. Any time there is a double emphasis on something, it means it is a very serious issue.

“And to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” It uses KAI HOS PARATITHEMI POLUS, PERISSOS AITEO AUTOS

Entrusted,” is the Adjective PARATITHEMI from PARA, “beside,” and TITHEMI, “set or place.” So, it means, “set alongside, set before, or give someone something in trust; to entrust.” For example, in 1 Tim 1:18, Paul entrusted Timothy with the teaching and preaching of the Christian Gospel of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. He was therefore obligated to leave the doctrine intact and uncontaminated from non-Christian elements. In 2 Tim 2:2, Timothy was then to entrust those same doctrines unadulterated to other worthy teachers.

“They will ask all the more,” uses the Future, Active, Indicative of the Verb AITEO, “ask, request, or demand,” with the Adjective PERISSOS that means, “extraordinary, profuse, or abundant.” So, this is a very much more request.

Once again, because God entrusted His Gospel to these people, which is a very high calling, He will also demand very much more accuracy in the application of it to themselves and others. He will demand that they believe it above and beyond all others. That is the context of the passages where Jesus says, “He does not know them and will not receive them,” Mat 7:23; 25:10-12; Luke 13:25-27; 19:22, etc.

Luke 19:22, “He said to him, ‘By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow?”

Mat 7:23, “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness’.”

Luke 13:25, “Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from’.”

Luke 13:27, “And He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; depart from me, all you evildoers’.” 

Mat 25:10-12, “And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ 12But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you’.” 

The principle is, “those to whom God gives special knowledge and special opportunities also must realize they have greater responsibilities.” These “servants” were given tremendous responsibilities. The apostles did a good job with what they were given, where most of the Pharisees did not, and never came to salvation, nor directly led others to salvation either. Therefore, their punishment will be more severe than that of the average unbeliever.

But, let us also not lose the sentiment that amongst believers God is exacting based on what He has given to you. To whom much is given, much is required. Therefore, as Church Age believers, members of the Body of Jesus Christ and Royal Family of God, we have a greater responsibility to preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of God to those lost and dying in this world and to the believer.

4. Concerning division, signs, and a final warning, Luke 12:49-59.

In this last section, we have three main topics:

1. Vs. 49-53, the Gospel of Jesus Christ will have a dividing nature on family members.
2. Vs. 54-56, a rebuke of those who cannot discern the time of the first Advent of the Christ.
3. Vs. 57-59, a final warning of condemnation against those who reject the Savior.

1. Vs. 49-53, the Gospel of Jesus Christ will have a dividing nature on family members.

Vs. 49

Luke 12:49, “I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled!”

“I have come to cast fire upon the earth,” ERCHOMAI BALLO PUR EPI GE, is used figuratively for the judgment of Jesus Christ upon the peoples of the earth. Here, we see the context is regarding people’s faith in Him as Messiah or not.

Isa 65:17; 2 Peter 3:13; Rev 21:1, tell us that there will be “a new heaven and new earth.” That means that the first, our current, earth and heaven will be destroyed, 2 Peter 3:10; Micah 1:4.

2 Peter 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.”

As such, fire will consume the universe as we know it, so that this current earth and the heavens will cease to exist. Jesus then will create in their place a new earth and a new heaven. In that new creation, all of it will be freed from the disease of sin and the dominion of evil. But, before our Lord could enact that final destruction and new creation, He had to go to the Cross to pay the penalty for our sins, so that sin and Satan would be defeated.

As we see here, the Cross is the central event of the universe, and the Cross is the central aspect for everyone’s life. In that centrality, the Cross will be a dividing line between people, as they choose for or against Christ. That dividing line is what will divide people in eternity between heaven and hell, but it will also divide people in time regarding their allegiances.

Therefore, as Jesus was heading from Galilee to Jerusalem, He lamented about sin that grips the world, which He desires to cease immediately. He expressed this desire with “And how I wish it (the end-time fire) were already kindled.

How I wish it were already kindled,” uses the exclamatory use of the Adverb TIS for His strong desire with the Present, Active, Indicative of the Verb THELO, “to wish to have, desire, etc.,” with the Conjunction, EI, “if,” that emphasizes His strong desire, and Adverb EDE, “already, now, or at this time,” with the Aorist, Passive, Indicative of the Verb ANAPTO, ἀνάπτω that means, “to light a fire or kindle.” ANAPTO is used only here, Acts 28:2; and James 3:5. Here, it is used metaphorically for kindling the fire of judgment; the judgment of our sins upon the person of Jesus Christ, that will end the current problem of sin in the world. And, even though the judgment of our sins upon Jesus is good for the world, Jesus also knew that it would be a cause of division among people.

Our Lord’s strong “wish or desire,” was to get the plan of God moving forward. Knowing of the people’s overall rejection of Him, which would lead to His crucifixion, He is also prophesying about the judgments that will come upon the world for rejecting Him, beginning with 70 A.D., when Jerusalem would be destroyed by the Romans and culminating in the destruction of the heavens and earth, so that a new earth and heavens could be created. Though these judgments are punitive, they are designed to bring salvation to as many as possible.

We see here that the Lord is lamenting about each second that sin and evil continues to exist. He could, at any moment, eliminate all pain, suffering, disasters, disease, death, sorrow, mourning, and decay, but that would also mean the end of us. As such, His plan of redemption must tolerate the continued existence of evil for a time; just enough time to make a way for salvation and to collect all those who will choose to trust in Him. Therefore, Jesus is expressing His eagerness to get the Father’s Plan for Salvation to completion.

Vs. 50

Luke 12:50, “But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!”

But I have a baptism to undergo,” in the Greek is DE ECHO BAPTISMA BAPTIZO, which literally says, “But I have a baptism to be baptized with,” using the Aorist, Passive, Infinitive for BAPTIZO.

Before bringing judgment, Jesus first had to be judged by the Father for our sins. This is called the “Baptism of the Cross.” It is one of seven Baptisms found in the Scriptures.

Baptism means identification or association of one thing with another. In the Baptism of the Cross, Jesus was identified with the sins of the entire world.

There are two categories of identification in Scripture:

1) An actual identification is called a Real Baptism.

2) A representative identification is called a Ritual Baptism. It uses water.

There are four “real” and three “ritual” Baptisms.  Real Baptisms are without water.  Ritual Baptisms are with water.

The four Real Baptisms include:

1) The Baptism of Moses (identification of the freed Israelites with Moses as God’s leader); 2) Baptism of the Cross; 3) Baptism of the Holy Spirit; 4) Baptism of Fire, (the judgment of the Tribulational unbelievers at the Second Advent).

The three Ritual Baptisms included:

1) The Baptism of John; 2) The Baptism of Jesus Christ; 3) The Baptism of Church Age believers.

The Baptism of the Cross is also found in Mark 10:38-39. Matthew parallels this account but does not mention baptism, only the cup to drink, Mat 20:22; cf. 2 Cor 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24.

Mark 10:38-39, “But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39They said to Him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you shall drink; and you shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized.”

Even though the “Sons of Thunder,” James and John, (Mark 3:17), could not take on the sins of the world and be judged for them, they would suffer death for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They would suffer as Jesus did. But only Jesus could take on the sins of the entire world and be judged for them.

2 Cor 5:21, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

This Baptism is our Lord Jesus Christ being identified with our sins. This refers to the judicial imputation of personal sins to Jesus Christ on the Cross. Jesus Christ was identified with our personal sins and judged for them, so that Christ became our Savior. As sinners, none of those to whom Christ spoke were qualified to be baptized with sin on the Cross.

The Baptism of the Cross reveals the judging and purging work that His ministry represents that provides the way for people to make decisions about where they stand and to offer them the opportunity to be healed from their sins, Luke 5:31-32.

Luke 5:31, “And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick”.”

Rom 3:10, “As it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one’.”

Before Jesus could exercise such judgment and authority, He first had to undergo His own baptism, so He was limited in what He could do until then, which frustrated Him.

“Baptism” is therefore, a reference to His approaching judgment and death upon the Cross. As later texts make clear, Jesus will engage in a great cleansing act, where He will identify with the sins of humanity and provide a basis for both saving and condemning by His experiencing God’s judgment in their place, John 3:16-21; Rom 5:12-6:6. As such, in the judgment He experienced, He provides the opportunity for others to be spared, if they would believe in Him as their Savior. Interestingly, this sparing judgment He took on and offers freely to all of mankind, becomes the issue of stern division among people, including families.

Therefore, Jesus’ commitment to God’s will was total and complete. He was completely governed by His desire to complete His Baptism of the Cross, even though it meant suffering death in Jerusalem, Luke 13:31-35. In fact, He longed for this Baptism despite what it demanded, because only through its completion would the fire of judgment be kindled that would save. Jesus’ death is seen here not as a tragedy or a terrible twist of fate, but as the fulfillment of the God’s Divine Plan.

Then we have, “How distressed I am until it is accomplished!”

This is the second exclamation Jesus’ uses in this section. In vs. 49, He used TIS as an Adverb in “How I wish it were kindled.” Now, He uses the Adverb POS for “How distressed I am,” that indicates He is gripped with inner pressure regarding this situation, to the point it is constraining Him.

This is further emphasized in the next word “distressed,” which is the Present, Passive, Indicative of the Verb SUNECHO that can mean, “hold fast, restrain, enclose, constrain, compel, press, pressure.” Therefore, He described His state of mind as “distressed” until the Plan was accomplished. The apostle Paul used this same Greek verb to describe being “hard-pressed” (or torn) by two alternative desires, Phil 1:23, read vs. 21-26.  So, we see from both Jesus and Paul that they held themselves together while enduring great affliction, because they also knew what the great outcome of their actions would be for others.

Therefore, we see our Lord’s inner struggle with what is going on at the present that will not be resolved “until,” He undergoes the Baptism of the Cross, i.e., “until it is accomplished,” HEOS HOTOU TELEO. TELEO is in the Aorist, Passive, Subjunctive that means, “to complete, finish, or perform.” This is the same root word that Jesus uttered on the Cross, when the payment of the penalty for the sins of the entire world had been completed, i.e., “It is finished.” In our passage, Jesus is looking forward to that time, which is the Baptism of the Cross. Therefore, He is currently having inner pressure about what is happening now, because He is anxious to get to the Cross and win the strategic victory of the Angelic Conflict by defeating sin and death.

“We can only imagine the Lord’s inner conflict. On a personal level, He left the pristine holiness of a perfect heaven to live in the cesspool of creation. While we hate evil because of the harm it causes us, God hates evil because it violates His very nature and corrupts everything—everyone—He loves. On another level, the Lord found Himself conflicted by His abhorrence for the continued existence of sin and His compassion for people. He “held Himself together” despite being torn between righteousness and patience.” (Swindoll’s Living Insights New Testament Commentary).

For our own personal application, if we think that serving Christ is demanding and difficult, think of what He endured on our behalf. He felt the inner struggles of seeing evil and injustice in the world and He suffered the thrashes and scourging of God’s judgment in His Baptism on the Cross. Therefore, we can ask ourselves:

  • “Are we in the furnace of affliction?” He felt that fire before we did.
  • “Are we experiencing “war” in the home because of our faith in Christ?” He knew what that was like too, Luke 8:19-21; Micah 7:6; John 7:1-5.

Micah 7:6, “For son treats father contemptuously, Daughter rises up against her mother, Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own household.”

7 5 20 - happy independence day 2

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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:

#20-068, 20-069, 20-070

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If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.

Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.

So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:

“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”

If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!

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