I came to cast fire… The ministry of Jesus ignites division. It calls for a radical decision to be made, and making this decision will divide families and households. It will be politically incorrect because it doesn’t allow for alternatives. If we decide for Jesus, our decision will not make everyone happy and won’t lead to everyone liking us. It is most often quite the opposite (2 Timothy 3:12), and your decision will depend on who is lighting the fires of your passion (James 4:4 / John 15:23 / 1 John 2:15-16).
They will be divided… Jesus ignites fire for God and fire against God. God’s Word does not come back void (Isaiah 55:11), but that doesn’t mean it works according to our imaginations; not everyone who hears it obeys it (Romans 10:16). It works in the sense that it separates the true from the false, it causes repentance or rebellion. This is the division.
The Word of God reveals the heart (Hebrews 4:12-13). When sinners are confronted and condemned by the Word of God and urged to repent, it acts as a fire and a hammer which seeks to shatter their hard hearts (Jeremiah 23:29). The mission of the Messiah is the process of refining and separating the godly from the ungodly (Malachi 3:2).
The fire is a revelation, but in the end its effect is different for Christians (1 Corinthians 3:15) than it is for unbelievers (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10). The truth about us, rebellion or repentance, comes not when we see the light, but when we feel the heat.