Life-Study of Lukeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In 12:1-48 the Man-Savior warned His disciples of the hypocrisy of religion (vv. 1-12), covetousness (vv. 13-34), and concerning watchfulness and faithfulness (vv. 35-48). Then in 12:49-53 He expressed the longing to be released through His death. Here we see that the Lord aspired to be fully released from the bondage of His flesh. This short portion of the Word is very deep, and we need adequate spiritual experience in order to understand it.
When I was in Shanghai more than fifty years ago, I read a book by Brother T. Austin-Sparks entitled The Release of the Lord. That book made reference to 12:49 and 50. The writer pointed out that the Lord, in His incarnation was bound and concealed in His flesh. He was God, and He had the divine life as His essence, strength, and power. Nevertheless, He was concealed in His humanity, which was a restriction to His divine being. Therefore, He needed to be released through death; that is, He desired that His divine being would be released through death.
Luke 12:49 and 50 correspond to John 12:24: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Here the Lord likens Himself to a grain of wheat. If a grain of wheat does not fall into the earth and die, it will abide alone and remain the same. But when it falls into the ground and dies, the death of that grain releases the life within it. We may say that death becomes a release to the inner life of the grain of wheat. Through such a release, the riches of the life of the grain of wheat come forth to produce many grains. The Lord Jesus as a grain of wheat fell into the ground and lost His soulish life through death so that He might release His eternal life in resurrection to the many grains.
When we compare John 12:24 with Luke 12:49 and 50, we see that both portions of the Scriptures describe the release of the divine life, or the release of the divine being of the Lord’s Person. As God, the Lord Jesus possessed the unlimited eternal life. However, this unlimited life was greatly restricted and restrained in His humanity, in His flesh. Therefore, the Lord was anxious and desirous for the release of His divine life. Once the divine life was released from within Him, He could impart it into His many believers. This is the basic thought in 12:49-53.
In 12:49 the Lord Jesus says, “I came to cast fire on the earth, and what can I desire if it has already been kindled?” This “fire” is the impulse of the spiritual life, which comes from the Lord’s released divine life and which causes the divisions mentioned in verses 51 through 53. In these verses we see that there will be divisions even in the families of the believers. These divisions come from the fire which is the impulse of the spiritual life, and this impulse comes from the Lord’s released divine life. His life was concealed, and the Lord wanted it to be released. He wanted the fire to burst into flame.
In verse 49 the Lord says, “What can I desire if it has already been kindled?” This part of the verse may also be rendered, “How I wish that it were already kindled!” This indicates that the fire was not kindled before the Lord’s death. We know from the record in the book of Acts that after the Lord’s death this fire became a flame.
Note: We hope that many will benefit from these spiritual riches. However, for the sake of avoiding confusion, we ask that none of these materials be downloaded or copied and republished elsewhere, electronically or otherwise. Living Stream Ministry retains full copyright on all these materials and hopes that our visitors will respect this.
Downloading this material, even for personal use, is prohibited.
Your IP address is 18.104.22.168 [3:44:38 PM (GMT -08:00), March 21, 2018].
Common words, such as "and", "is", "but", and "the", also known as noise words, are bypassed in a search. The search string, the Spirit & who, would result in an error since who, which stands by itself, is a noise word. The following is a list of noise words:
$, a, also, an, and, another, any, are, as, at, be, because, been, being, both, but, by, came, can, did, do, each, for, has, had, he, have, her, here, him, himself, his, how, if, in, into, is, it, like, make, me, might, much, my, of, on, or, our, out, over, said, should, since, some, still, such, take, than, that, the, their, them, then, there, these, they, this, those, to, too, very, was, way, we, well, were, what, where, which, while, who, with, would, you, your×
Rank is a value from 0 to 1000 indicating how closely a match scored or ranked against the original search string. Rank values are affected by the following factors:
This option breaks out the search string into its individual words and generates all conjugations and declensions for each word in the search phrase. A search on the word, dwell, would search for dwell, dwelling, dwelling's, dwells, dwelt, and dwelled.
There is no need to use ^ (inflectional search) or * (prefix search) when using the Include all word forms search scope.
This option searches for exact matches of the specified words or phrases used in the search string. Use of ^ (inflectional search) with a particular word in the search string will broaden the search for that given word in that all conjugations and declensions for that word will be searched. Similarly, use of * (prefix search) with a particular word in the search string will broaden the search for that given word in that all words with that prefix will be searched as well.
Common words, such as "and", "is", "but", and "the", also known as noise words, are bypassed in a search. A list of all noise words is as follows:
$, about, after, all, also, an,and, another, any, are, as, at, be, because, been, before, being, between, both, but, by, came, can, come, could, did, do, each, for, from, get, got, has, had, he, have, her, here, him, himself, his, how, if, in, into, is, it, like, make, many, me, might, more, most, much, must, my, never, now, of, on, only, or, other, our, out, over, said, same, see, should, since, some, still, such, take, than, that, the, their, them, then, there, these, they, this, those, through, to, too, under, up, very, was, way, we, well, were, what, where, which, while, who, with, would, you, your×