Luke 12

God Knows and Cares

1 Under these circumstances, after so many thousands of people had gathered together that they were stepping on one another, He began saying to His disciples first of all, "1 Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. .
2 "2But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.
3 "Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered * * in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon 3the housetops.
4 "I say to you, 4My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no * more that they can do.
5 "But I will warn you whom to fear: 5fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into 6hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!
6 "Are not 7five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God.
7 "8Indeed *, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
8 "And I say to you, everyone who 9confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God;
9 but 10he who denies Me before men will be denied 11before the angels of God.
10 "12And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him.
11 "When they bring you before 13the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not 14worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say;
12 for 15the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say."

Covetousness Denounced

13 Someone in the crowd said to Him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me."
14 But He said to him, "16Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?"
15 Then He said to them, "17Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions."
16 And He told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man was very productive.
17 "And he began reasoning to himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?'
18 "Then he said, 'This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
19 'And I will say to my soul, "Soul, 18you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry."'
20 "But God said to him, '19You fool! This very night 20your soul is required of you; and 21now who will own what you have prepared?'
21 "So is the man who 22stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
22 And He said to His disciples, "23For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on.
23 "For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.
24 "Consider the 24ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor 25barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!
25 "And which of you by worrying can add a single 26hour to his life's span?
26 "If then you cannot * do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?
27 "Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even 27Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.
28 "But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? 28You men of little faith!
29 "And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not 29keep worrying.
30 "For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things.
31 "But seek His kingdom, and 30these things will be added to you.
32 "31Do not be afraid, 32little flock, for 33your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.
33 "34Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, 35an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys.
34 "For 36where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Be in Readiness

35 "37Be dressed in 38readiness, and keep your lamps lit.
36 "Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks.
37 "Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find 39on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that 40he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.
38 "41Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
39 "42But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be 43broken into.
40 "44You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect."
41 Peter said, "Lord, are You addressing this parable to us, or 45to everyone else as well?"
42 And 46the Lord said, "47Who then is the faithful and sensible 48steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time?
43 "Blessed is that 49slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.
44 "Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
45 "But if that slave says in his heart, 'My master will be a long time in coming,' and begins to beat the slaves *, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk;
46 the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
47 "And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will 50receive many lashes,
48 but the one who did not 51know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. 52From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.

Christ Divides Men

49 "I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled!
50 "But I have a 53baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!
51 "54Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division;
52 for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three.
53 "They will be divided, 55father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."
54 And He was also saying to the crowds, "56When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, 'A shower is coming,' and so it turns out.
55 "And when you see a south wind blowing, you say, 'It will be a 57hot day,' and it turns out that way.
56 "You hypocrites! 58You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time?
57 "And 59why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right?
58 "For 60while you are going with your opponent to appear before the magistrate, on your way there make an effort to settle with him, so that he may not drag you before the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison.
59 "I say to you, you will not get out of there until you have paid the very last 61cent."

Images for Luke 12

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.

Cross References 61

  • 1. Matthew 16:6, 11; Mark 8:15
  • 2. Luke 12:2-9: {Matthew 10:26-33">Matthew 10:26-33;} Matthew 10:26; Mark 4:22; Luke 8:17
  • 3. Matthew 10:27; Matthew 24:17
  • 4. John 15:13-15
  • 5. Hebrews 10:31
  • 6. Matthew 5:22
  • 7. Matthew 10:29
  • 8. Matthew 10:30
  • 9. Matthew 10:32; Luke 15:10; Romans 10:9
  • 10. Matthew 10:33; Luke 9:26
  • 11. Luke 15:10
  • 12. Matthew 12:31, 32; Mark 3:28-30
  • 13. Matthew 10:17
  • 14. Matthew 6:25; Matthew 10:19; Mark 13:11; Luke 12:22; Luke 21:14
  • 15. Matthew 10:20; Luke 21:15
  • 16. Micah 6:8; Romans 2:1, 3; Romans 9:20
  • 17. 1 Timothy 6:6-10
  • 18. Ecclesiastes 11:9
  • 19. Jeremiah 17:11; Luke 11:40
  • 20. Job 27:8
  • 21. Psalms 39:6
  • 22. Luke 12:33
  • 23. Luke 12:22-31: {Matthew 6:25-33}
  • 24. Job 38:41
  • 25. Luke 12:18
  • 26. Psalms 39:5
  • 27. 1 Kings 10:4-7; 2 Chronicles 9:3-6
  • 28. Matthew 6:30
  • 29. Matthew 6:31
  • 30. Matthew 6:33
  • 31. Matthew 14:27
  • 32. John 21:15-17
  • 33. Ephesians 1:5, 9
  • 34. Matthew 19:21; Luke 11:41; Luke 18:22
  • 35. Matthew 6:20; Luke 12:21
  • 36. Matthew 6:21
  • 37. Matthew 25:1f
  • 38. Ephesians 6:14; 1 Peter 1:13
  • 39. Matthew 24:42
  • 40. Luke 17:8; John 13:4
  • 41. Matthew 24:43
  • 42. Luke 12:39, 40: {Matthew 24:43, 44}
  • 43. Matthew 6:19
  • 44. Mark 13:33; Luke 21:36
  • 45. Luke 12:47, 48
  • 46. Luke 7:13
  • 47. Luke 12:42-46: {Matthew 24:45-51}
  • 48. Matthew 24:45; Luke 16:1f
  • 49. Luke 12:42
  • 50. Deuteronomy 25:2; James 4:17
  • 51. Leviticus 5:17; Numbers 15:29
  • 52. Matthew 13:12
  • 53. Mark 10:38
  • 54. Luke 12:51-53: {Matthew 10:34-36}
  • 55. Micah 7:6; Matthew 10:21
  • 56. Matthew 16:2
  • 57. Matthew 20:12
  • 58. Matthew 16:3
  • 59. Luke 21:30
  • 60. Luke 12:58, 59: {Matthew 5:25, 26}
  • 61. Mark 12:42

Footnotes 30

Luke 12 Commentaries

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