“I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished! Lk 12:49-50
A basic principle that we could apply to these passages would be the qualities of the elements of fire, air, water, and earth. They are so elementary that they escape our attention most of the time. Yet everything in this world is either warm, wet, airy or earthy – or combinations of same.
So how can we apply these four elements to human nature? Fire is the element associated with the human “I”. Wind or air is associated with our astral. Clouds and water are associated with our etheric or life force. Earth of course is associated with all that is physical within us.
These elements can then be associated with human qualities, for instance, we express the quality of fire in our warmth, our radiance, our liveliness. Our airy nature is found in our inner movement, our ability to expand and weave. Our watery nature is about the way we flow with things, our rhythm and our earthy nature indicate how solid or grounded we are. That is just to name a few.
So far in our evolution we have developed the principles of earth, water and air. Now we are working with the element of fire. If we understand this then it makes sense that fire is cast upon the earth. If we understand that it is the Lord speaking here, responding to Peter’s question in verse 41, then we also realise that it is the I AM speaking. Yet we shouldn’t be too prescriptive in assigning the Lord to the I Am. We could look at it this way. When we speak, we speak from many different facets of our life; female, mother, sister, daughter, friend, work colleague and so on.
So this aspect of the Lord is saying I came to cast fire upon the earth. I came to bring the fourth element into the human being. We meet the true idea of this fire in the burning bush that Moses encountered. “And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.” Ex 3:2 Surely this explains the real process of fire. Then later Moses asks, [when] “they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM that I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” Ex 3:13-14
Then, in Luke, the Lord says, “and would that it were already kindled!” which means that the Lord hopes that this fire that he casts will be met with anapto, which means something that fire can be fastened to. Furthermore, “I have a baptism to be baptized with” which refers to the baptism of fire which the disciples received at Pentecost. When we receive this fire we become fully self-conscious and aware of the true reality of this universe.
So this leads us to ask what will happen within us when the fire is cast? What have we kindled within ourselves? And in what ways are we constraining our I Am? If we look back to the four elements we might find some clues. From Who is Jesus : What is Christ? Volume 3
Painting by Iris Yves