Luke 12:50

ESV I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished!
NIV But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed!
NASB But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!
CSB But I have a baptism to undergo, and how it consumes me until it is finished!
NLT I have a terrible baptism of suffering ahead of me, and I am under a heavy burden until it is accomplished.
KJV But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!

What does Luke 12:50 mean?

Jesus wants His disciples to reject the pleasures, trappings, and even life in this world. Peter wants to make sure they receive more honor than anyone else. Jesus knows the disciples don't know what will have to happen to get there (Luke 12:1–49). The disciples still think Jesus has come to overthrow the Roman occupiers and become king of a new, independent Israel. They believe they will sit at Jesus' court and advise His decisions. They anticipate power over their fellow Jews (Mark 10:37).

Jesus has told them to watch for God's kingdom—and all their expectations will be fulfilled in that kingdom—but much needs to happen first. Jesus will cast the fires of judgment on the earth. He is talking about the end times period known as the "tribulation." Although fire is mentioned several times in the context of the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments (Revelation 6:1; 8:1–2; 16:1), Jesus most likely means the battle of Armageddon when the Antichrist and Satan will be defeated (Revelation 16:16). Their forces will be destroyed, and Jesus will inaugurate the millennial kingdom. Only then will the disciples receive their thrones and their authority to judge Israel (Matthew 19:28).

Then, they will find that not everyone made it. They will discover that some of their family members did not trust in Jesus for their salvation. When Jesus separates the Antichrist's forces, He separates all unbelievers (Luke 12:51–53).

Most distressing for Jesus, His most difficult trial stands in front of Him: the crucifixion. His "baptism" is His death (Romans 6:3). He will be beaten and crucified. He will carry the sin of the world and the wrath of God. The night before, He will be in such agony as He anticipates this torture that He will sweat drops like blood (Luke 22:44). The disciples want their thrones; they have no idea it will cost Jesus His life and themselves some of their family.
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