Jesus’ Warning About Religious Hypocrisy
Luke 12:1-12 (Matthew 23:1-36; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 20:45-47)
(1) Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands of people had gathered so that they were trampling one another, Jesus spoke first to his disciples, “Be on your guard against the religious hypocrisy (yeast) of the Pharisees! (2) There is nothing concealed that will not be exposed, or hidden that will not be revealed. (3) What you have said in the darkness of night will be heard in the light of day, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be shouted from the house tops.
(4) “I tell you the truth, my friends: Do not be afraid of those who can kill the body but can do nothing else to you. (5) But I warn you, you should fear God! For after the killing of the body, God has the authority to send you into hell (gehenna). Yes, I tell you, fear God!
(6) “You know that five birds sell for only two pennies. Yet God does not forget one of them. (7) Yes, God knows the exact number of hairs on your head. So don’t be afraid, because you are worth much more to God than many birds.
(8) “I tell you the truth: Whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man (see Daniel 7:3-14) will also acknowledge before God’s angels. (9) But whoever denies me before others will be disowned before God’s angels. (10) And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
(11) “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers, and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourself, or what you should say, (12) because the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
The Parable About Greed
(13) Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” (14) Jesus said to him, “Man, who appointed me to be a judge between you?” (15) Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed, because true life does not consist of the abundance of one’s possessions.”
(16) And Jesus told the people this parable (story): “The land of a rich man produced an abundant harvest. (17) So he thought to himself, ‘What should I do? I have no more space to store all my crops.’ (18) Then he said to himself, ‘I know what I will do. I will tear down my small barns and build big ones, and then I can store all my extra crops. (19) And I’ll say to myself: You now have an abundant amount of food stored up for many years, so I will take life easy. I will eat, drink and be happy.’
(20) “But God said to the man, ‘You rich fool! For this very night your life will be taken from you. Then who will get all the food that you have stored up for yourself?’
(21) “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
Do Not Worry About Your Life
Luke 12:22-32 (Matthew 6:25-34)
(22) Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you the truth: Do not worry about your life, about what you will eat; or about your body, what clothes you will wear. (23) For life is much more than food, and your body is much more important than what clothes you will wear.
(24) “Watch how the birds live: They do not plant or harvest. They do not have storerooms or barns for their food, for God feeds them! And you are much more valuable than birds! (25) Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? (26) Since you can’t do this, why do you worry about everything else?
(27) “Watch how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or work or weave. Yet I tell you the truth: Not even Solomon in all his kingly splendor was dressed like the beauty of the flowers. (28) So if that is how God clothes the grass of the field—which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire—how much more will God clothe you, you of little faith!
(29) “And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink. Do not worry about all these things of life! (30) For the people of this world run after all these things, but your Father in heaven knows that you need them. (31) Instead, seek first the kingdom of God and all these things in life will be given to you. (32) Do not be afraid, little flock, because your Father in heaven is pleased to give you the kingdom of God.”
Treasures in Heaven
Luke 12:33-34 (Matthew 6:19-24)
Jesus said, (33) “Sell what you own and give to the poor. Pursue money bags for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thieves steal and where moths do not destroy. (34) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
The Parable About Jesus’ Second Coming
Luke 12:35-40 (Matthew 24:42-44)
Jesus told this parable (story): (35) “Be dressed ready to serve and keep your lamps burning. (36) Live like servants waiting for their master to return home from a wedding banquet, so that when he knocks on the door you will immediately open it for him. (37) Blessed are those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth: He will dress himself to serve. He will have them take their place at the table and serve them. (38) Blessed are those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or in the early morning. (39) But understand this: If the owner of a house had known when the thief was coming to break in, he would not have let his house be broken into.
(40) “You also must be ready, because the Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14) will come at a time when you do not expect him.”
The Parable of a Faithful Servant
Luke 12:41-48 (Matthew 24:45-51)
(41) Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, are you telling this parable (story) to us, or to the people?” (42) The Lord said to him, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food to eat at the proper time? (43) Blessed is that servant whom the master finds faithfully doing what he was told to do. (44) I tell you the truth: He will put him in charge over everything he owns. (45) But if the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and so he starts to beat the male and female servants and to eat and drink and get drunk, (46) the master of that servant will come at a time when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. The master will cut that servant into pieces and send him to the place with the unbelievers.
(47) “The servant who knows the master’s will but does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will receive a severe beating. (48) But the servant who does not know the master’s will and does things deserving punishment will receive only a few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded of them; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be required of them.”
Believers and Unbelievers
Luke 12:49-53 (Matthew 10:34-39)
Jesus said, (49) “I came to bring fire (probably referring to judgment) on the earth, and how I wish that it was already on fire! (50) But I have a baptism of suffering to experience, and how great is my distress until it is fulfilled.
(51) “Do you think I came to bring peace on the earth? No, I tell you the truth: I came to bring separation (between believers and unbelievers). (52) From now on there will be divisions: Five members of a family will be divided against each other, three against two and two against three. (53) They will be divided—a father will be against his son, and a son will be against his father; a mother will be against her daughter, and a daughter will be against her mother; a mother-in-law will be against her daughter-in-law, and a daughter-in-law will be against her mother-in-law.”
Understanding the Times
Luke 12:54-56 (Matthew 16:1-4)
(54) Jesus said to the crowd of people, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you predict, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does rain. (55) And when you feel the wind blowing from the south, you predict, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it gets hot. (56) You are hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the present time.”
Settle Your Disputes
Luke 12:57-59 (Matthew 5:25-26)
Jesus said, (57) “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? (58) As you are going with your adversary to the court, make every effort to settle the dispute (reconcile) on the way, or your accuser will drag you before the judge, and the judge will turn you over to the officer, and the officer will put you into prison. (59) I tell you the truth: You will not get out of prison until you have paid the very last penny that you owe.”