Luke 12: 54-56 – Interpreting the Signs of the Times


The sayings in Lk 12: 54-56 can be understood as a parable, though they are not designated as such by Luke. We can notice in them a rather remote similarity with Mt 16: 2-3.

Jesus expresses his surprise at the fact that his contemporaries who know how to read (the signs of) nature – cloud and winds – and come to proper conclusion are unable to read the signs of the times, to discern the meaning of what happens in their very midst. They do not perceive the meaning and challenge of the moment in which they live. Therefore, Jesus reprimands their hypocritical attitude (Lk 12: 56) due to which they fail to discern the significance and summons of the critical moment of history that is unfolding before their very eyes, namely, Jesus’ message and ministry through which God’s reign is made present in history (Cf. Lk 7: 22-23; 11: 20; see also 7: 31-35).

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