Luke 12

1 In the meantime, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
2 For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, neither hid that shall not be known.
3 Therefore whatever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light, and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of those that kill the body and, after that, have no more that they can do.
5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, who, after being killed, has power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; ye are of more value than many sparrows.
8 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God;
9 but he that denies me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.
10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, there is forgiveness for him; but unto him that blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven.
11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues and unto magistrates and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer or what ye shall say;
12 for the Holy Spirit shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.
13 And one of the crowd said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.
14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?
15 And he said unto them, Take heed and beware of all covetousness; for a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.
16 And he spoke a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully;
17 and he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my storehouses and build greater, and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast many goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee; then whose shall those things be which thou hast stored up?
21 So is he that lays up treasure for himself and is not rich in God.
22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.
23 The life is more than food, and the body is more than raiment.
24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?
25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?
26 If ye then are not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?
27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
28 If then God so clothes the grass, which is today in the field and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?
29 And seek not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, neither be ye high minded.
30 For all these things do the Gentiles of the world seek after, and your Father knows that ye have need of these things.
31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.
32 Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
33 Sell what ye have and give alms; {lit. do acts of mercy}; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that fails not, where no thief approaches neither moth corrupts.
34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
35 Let your loins be girded about and your lamps burning,
36 and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he comes and knocks, they may open unto him immediately.
37 Blessed are those slaves, whom the lord when he comes shall find watching; verily I say unto you that he shall gird himself and make them to sit down to food and will come forth and serve them.
38 And if he shall come in the second watch or come in the third watch and find them so, blessed are those slaves.
39 And know this: that if the husband of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not have suffered his house to be broken through.
40 Be ye therefore ready also; for the Son of man comes at an hour when ye think not.
41 Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us or even to all?
42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward whom his lord shall make ruler over his household to give them their portion of food in due season?
43 Blessed is that slave whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing.
44 Of a truth I say unto you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.
45 But and if that slave shall say in his heart, My lord delays his coming, and shall begin to beat the menslaves and maids and to eat and drink and to be drunken,
46 the lord of that slave will come in a day when he does not look for him and at an hour when he is not aware and will cut him off and will appoint him his portion with the unfaithful.
47 And that slave who knew his lord’s will and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
48 But he that knew not and did commit things worthy of stripes shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required; and to whom much was committed, more will be asked of him.
49 I am come to cast fire into the earth; and what do I desire, except that it be kindled?
50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how I am anguished until it is accomplished!
51 Think ye that I am come to the earth to give peace? No, I tell you, but rather division;
52 for from now on there shall be five in one house divided: three against two and two against three.
53 The father shall be divided against the son and the son against the father, the mother against the daughter and the daughter against the mother, the mother-in-law against her daughter- in-law and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
54 And he said also to the people, When ye see the cloud rising out of the west, straightway ye say, A shower comes, and so it is.
55 And when the south wind blows, ye say, There will be heat, and it comes to pass.
56 Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?
57 Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?
58 When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou may be delivered from him, lest he drag thee away to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison.
59 I tell thee, in no wise shalt thou come out of there until thou hast paid the very last mite.

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Luke 12 Commentary

Chapter 12

Christ reproves the interpreters of the law. (1-12) A caution against covetousness The parable of the rich man. (13-21) Worldly care reproved. (22-40) Watchfulness enforced. (41-53) A warning to be reconciled to God. (54-59)

Verses 1-12 A firm belief of the doctrine of God's universal providence, and the extent of it, would satisfy us when in peril, and encourage us to trust God in the way of duty. Providence takes notice of the meanest creatures, even of the sparrows, and therefore of the smallest interests of the disciples of Christ. Those who confess Christ now, shall be owned by him in the great day, before the angels of God. To deter us from denying Christ, and deserting his truths and ways, we are here assured that those who deny Christ, though they may thus save life itself, and though they may gain a kingdom by it, will be great losers at last; for Christ will not know them, will not own them, nor show them favour. But let no trembling, penitent backslider doubt of obtaining forgiveness. This is far different from the determined enmity that is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall never be forgiven, because it will never be repented of.

Verses 13-21 Christ's kingdom is spiritual, and not of this world. Christianity does not meddle with politics; it obliges all to do justly, but wordly dominion is not founded in grace. It does not encourage expectations of worldly advantages by religion. The rewards of Christ's disciples are of another nature. Covetousness is a sin we need constantly to be warned against; for happiness and comfort do not depend on the wealth of this world. The things of the world will not satisfy the desires of a soul. Here is a parable, which shows the folly of carnal worldling while they live, and their misery when they die. The character drawn is exactly that of a prudent, worldly man, who has no grateful regard to the providence of God, nor any right thought of the uncertainty of human affairs, the worth of his soul, or the importance of eternity. How many, even among professed Christians, point out similar characters as models for imitation, and proper persons to form connexions with! We mistake if we think that thoughts are hid, and thoughts are free. When he saw a great crop upon his ground, instead of thanking God for it, or rejoicing to be able to do more good, he afflicts himself. What shall I do now? The poorest beggar in the country could not have said a more anxious word. The more men have, the more perplexity they have with it. It was folly for him to think of making no other use of his plenty, than to indulge the flesh and gratify the sensual appetites, without any thought of doing good to others. Carnal worldlings are fools; and the day is coming when God will call them by their own name, and they will call themselves so. The death of such persons is miserable in itself, and terrible to them. Thy soul shall be required. He is loth to part with it; but God shall require it, shall require an account of it, require it as a guilty soul to be punished without delay. It is the folly of most men, to mind and pursue that which is for the body and for time only, more than that for the soul and eternity.

Verses 22-40 Christ largely insisted upon this caution not to give way to disquieting, perplexing cares, ( Matthew 6:25-34 ) . The arguments here used are for our encouragement to cast our care upon God, which is the right way to get ease. As in our stature, so in our state, it is our wisdom to take it as it is. An eager, anxious pursuit of the things of this world, even necessary things, ill becomes the disciples of Christ. Fears must not prevail; when we frighten ourselves with thoughts of evil to come, and put ourselves upon needless cares how to avoid it. If we value the beauty of holiness, we shall not crave the luxuries of life. Let us then examine whether we belong to this little flock. Christ is our Master, and we are his servants; not only working servants, but waiting servants. We must be as men that wait for their lord, that sit up while he stays out late, to be ready to receive him. In this Christ alluded to his own ascension to heaven, his coming to call his people to him by death, and his return to judge the world. We are uncertain as to the time of his coming to us, we should therefore be always ready. If men thus take care of their houses, let us be thus wise for our souls. Be ye therefore ready also; as ready as the good man of the house would be, if he knew at what hour the thief would come.

Verses 41-53 All are to take to themselves what Christ says in his word, and to inquire concerning it. No one is left so ignorant as not to know many things to be wrong which he does, and many things to be right which he neglects; therefore all are without excuse in their sin. The bringing in the gospel dispensation would occasion desolations. Not that this would be the tendency of Christ's religion, which is pure, peaceable, and loving; but the effect of its being contrary to men's pride and lusts. There was to be a wide publication of the gospel. But before that took place, Christ had a baptism to be baptized with, far different from that of water and the Holy Spirit. He must endure sufferings and death. It agreed not with his plan to preach the gospel more widely, till this baptism was completed. We should be zealous in making known the truth, for though divisions will be stirred up, and a man's own household may be his foes, yet sinners will be converted, and God will be glorified.

Verses 54-59 Christ would have the people to be as wise in the concerns of their souls as they are in outward affairs. Let them hasten to obtain peace with God before it is too late. If any man has found that God has set himself against him concerning his sins, let him apply to him as God in Christ reconciling the world to himself. While we are alive, we are in the way, and now is our time.

Luke 12 Commentaries

The Jubilee Bible

(from the Scriptures of the Reformation)

edited by Russell M. Stendal

Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2010