In our last lesson, we finished up Luke 11 where Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and the Scribes. Our study will continue with Luke 12, which picks up right where we left off. In this chapter, Jesus says some similar things that He already said at an earlier time. I think some think that Jesus was always saying something new, but the truth is that He repeated His message and some of the same statements over and over again in different areas.


Since we have already covered some of the things spoken of in this chapter, I will just give a brief explanation as a way of reminder, but there are some new things said in this chapter as well.


Luke 12:1 In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.  2 "For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.  3 "Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.


There is no break in time between chapter and 11 and 12. In fact, what Jesus says in this chapter is in response to what has just taken place. In these first 12 verses, Jesus directs His comments to His disciples in the midst of this crowd that was gathering.


Jesus tells them what He has said before about the leaven of the Pharisees, which was hypocrisy. Leaven is an agent that permeates whatever it comes in contact with. So, Jesus is warning how the hypocrisy of the Pharisees can do exactly the same. The more you listen to them and join in with them, the more you will be influenced by them. As Paul said, evil company corrupts good habits (1 Cor. 15:33).


Jesus also warns His disciples about how nothing can be hidden. So, if you play the hypocrite eventually people will figure it out because you can only keep up the act for so long. Even if you managed to keep your sinful ways secret, they will all be revealed on the judgment day as:


2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.


1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God.


So, the best course of actions is not to keep sin hidden or to mask it in some way. Instead, deal with it so it you can get the sin out of your life.


Luke 12:4 " And I say to you, My 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 show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!


We can see that Jesus is still talking to His disciples because He calls them His friends. He tells them not to be afraid of those who can kill their bodies because man cannot touch your soul, but God can. So, we should fear Him and do what He has asked us to do so that hell will not be our eternal destination. We all need to realize that everyone is going to spend eternity somewhere, but hopefully it will be heaven and not hell.


What Jesus has said is important to His disciples, to us and to all the disciples of Christ that will follow us because one of the main reasons some tend to play the hypocrite is because they are afraid of their peers. So, they pretend to be something they are not and they just go along with whatever is current, but we cannot be like that, our motivation is God because no matter how much we fear our peers or what they can do to us, they have no say in where we will spend eternity, which is why we must always do our best to follow the way of God no matter what our peers say or think about us.


Luke 12:6 "Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God.  7 "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.


This should be comforting to them and to us because it shows that God is watching out for us and He knows all about us. If He knows about every sparrow that is sold, He certainly will not forget us because we are made in His image. This idea of Him knowing the number of hairs on your head shows how God knows us from the inside out. So, they and we should take great courage from this because God sees and knows everything that is going on in our lives, and that should blow your mind, but at the same time give you a great sense of peace knowing that God cares that much for you.


Luke 12:8  " Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God.  9 "But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.


Since we know that God will never forget us and is deeply concerned about each of us is should give us the courage to always confess Jesus before men even if it means our deaths. When we put our trust in God and stand up for Jesus, He will also confess us before God, but if we cave in and go with the way of man and deny Jesus, then He will deny us before the Father. The choice is always up to us, but I hope that we always chose to stand up for Jesus.


Luke 12:10 "And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.


I gave a detailed explanation of what Jesus is talking about in part 35 of this series, so I will just say the following:


Jesus is saying that they can reject Him right now and what He is teaching, but when the Holy Spirit comes and fully reveals the Word of God through His apostles and others, then we will have the full will of God. If we deny the Word of God and what it says about Jesus and how to live a righteous life, then we are blaspheming that is speaking against our last hope. If we reject what the Holy Spirit has given us through the Word of God, there is nothing else or any other plan that is going to be given by God that will save us. To blaspheme against the Holy Spirit is to deny eternal salvation in heaven. Anyone who rejects God’s plan of salvation will not be forgiven.

However, I do not believe that Jesus is saying that once you reject the Word of God that you can never be forgiven because you can if you turn to God and accept what the Holy Spirit has said through the Word of God. Saul would be a good example because He certainly rejected what the Holy Spirit was teaching through God’s people and was responsible for many Christians being put to death. Yet, he was allowed to be a Christian and even one of the apostles after he came to his senses and turned to God.


Luke 12:11 "Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say.  12 "For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say."


While I do not envy a lot of the things that the first century disciples had to deal with, it would be pretty cool to have the Holy Spirit give you the words you should speak when you were brought before these various people. It would be interesting to know what that was like. Of course, this does not apply to us today, but we do know how to give an answer to people thanks to the Holy Spirit through the written Word.


Luke 12:13 Then one from the crowd said to Him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."  14 But He said to him, "Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?"  15 And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."


Under the law of Moses, the first son would receive 2/3 of the inheritance and the second son 1/3. However, we really do not know exactly what is going on here. Maybe the man was just wanting in rightful share, or maybe he was wanting more than his rightful share, but based on Jesus’ response as He looks at the heart of this man, this man was being greedy.


Jesus uses this man as a teaching tool and teaches them to beware of covetousness because one's life is much more than the abundance of things. This was hard saying for them, and it is certainly a hard saying for us in the USA because we pride ourselves of the things we have. The more things we have, the more complete we feel, but of course there is always an empty void that those things cannot fill, but love for God and hope of eternal life in heaven can fill the void. To stress this point, Jesus gives them a parable.


Luke 12:16Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17“And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18“So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’


Here we have a rich farmer and everything seems to be going his way. He has lots of money and now he has a bumper crop. In fact, his crop was so good that he doesn’t have room for it all so he is going to tear down his old barns and build bigger and better ones. I can just image the big ole smile on this farmer, but did you notice in these few verses we read how everything was about him? He did not given any glory to God and hasn’t even thought about using his crops to help others. In fact, he uses the word I 6 times and I will 4 times and my 5 times. Listen to these verses again.


Luke 12:16Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17“And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18“So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’


Sure, this man bought the land and grew the crops, but he has forgotten that God created his land and that it all ultimately belongs to God. This farmer was so proud of himself because he had the abundance of crops and money. Many in the world today would look at a man like this and think he has it made, but let’s see what happens to this farmer as we continue in verse 20.


20“But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ 21“So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”


Can you imagine how this farmer’s jaw would have dropped whenever he found out he would die that night. Don’t you know that he was wishing that he had been more concerned about having a close relationship with God instead of being concerned about himself and his riches. This parable shows that no matter how much you have in material possession or in money, you cannot take it with you. As Paul said:


1 Timothy 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.


We must never forget this. Now there is nothing wrong with being rich as long as we do not make our riches our priority. We certainly don’t want to be like the rich young ruler who was willing to do just about anything to be right with God except let go of his earthly riches. Of course, this also includes covetousness, which is idolatry (Col. 3:5). The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Tim. 6:10). So, the point is don’t allow the love of money or anything for that matter come between you and God. Instead, make heaven your treasure.


Luke 12:22 Then He said to His disciples, "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.  23 "Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.  24 "Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?


Put God first in your life and do not get tangled up in the pursuit of riches or worldly gain because it will just cause you to worry, when you should not.


As Jesus says, life is so much more that what you eat or drink or what you will put on your body because this life is temporary and it will not last. While food, drink, and clothing are necessary things, the most important thing is putting God first and living by His Word because our true treasure and our eternal hope will be in heaven.


Regardless of what some people think, Jesus makes it clear that we are more valuable than animals. Since God takes care of the birds of the air by providing them with the things they need to survive, then He is certainly going to provide us with what we need. Just as a bird must go out and hunt its food, we too must make an effort on our part to go out and get those things that God has provided for us.


Then Jesus asks:


Luke 12:25 "And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  26 "If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?


Worrying about things does not change the outcome, but worrying about things can eat you up and even make you become sick. A cubit is about 18 inches, and Jesus makes the point of how worrying cannot add anything to one’s stature. Since we cannot even add 18 inches to our stature by worrying then why are so worried about these other things?


Jesus continues:


Luke 12:27 "Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  28 "If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?  29 "And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.  30 "For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 


Jesus is making a strong case of how God takes care of nature. First, he takes care of the birds. Second, the lilies of the field grow and are beautiful and more magnificent than Solomon’s glory, which is a big statement to the Jew because they considered Solomon as being magnificent because of his great wealth and wisdom. Third, God even clothes the grass, which does not live for long at all.


If God takes care of all these things, why on earth should you worry about God clothing you and providing for you? Obsessively worrying about such things is a sign of weak faith. We must remind ourselves that our God is alive and is powerful and knows what we need to sustain us. It should bring us great comfort to know that we are in the mighty hands of God. Yes, we may struggle at times, but we must learn to have the same attitude as Paul in:


Philippians 4:10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity.  11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:  12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.


Next, Jesus tells us exactly how we can increase our faith to the point where we do not worry about everything under the sun, and how we can make sure that we are laying up our treasure in heaven. He says:


31 "But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.


If you want to be a strong Christian who has complete confidence in God no matter what bad things are happening around you, then learn to put God first in your life, and God will provide for you. Focus on the problems you are dealing with today because if you are already worrying about the problems of tomorrow or even next week, then you are going to be overwhelmed. So, focus on today’s problems because they are enough to handle as it is.


Luke 12:32 "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  33 "Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.  34 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


No matter what happened to His disciples, Jesus wants them to know that nothing is going to keep the kingdom from being given to them. Those who teach the rapture doctrine should pay attention to verses like this because if Jesus failed to bring about the kingdom as they teach, then He broke His promise, which means that God’s Word is not true. However, we know that Jesus did not break His Word because the kingdom or we could say the church was brought forth and had its beginning as can be seen in Acts 2.


The overall thought of these verses teach us that giving is essential in a Christian’s life, and we should help others as we can. However, I do not believe Jesus is saying that every Christian should sell all they have so we can setup some kind of Christian communism. In fact, listen to what Burt Coffman wrote about our verses:

There have appeared, historically, some extremely literal interpretations of this place; and they have usually taken one or another of two forms: asceticism, (uh-set-uh-sizem) or so-called Christian communism; but both of these systems are unadaptable to human nature. "Both are out of harmony with the life and teachings of Jesus."[34]

Perhaps Wesley had the key to understanding this:

This is a direction not given to all the multitude; and much less is it a standing rule for all Christians, neither to the apostles; for they had nothing to sell, having left it all before. (It was) to those disciples (Luke 12:22) ... especially to the seventy, that they might be free from all worldly entanglements.[35]

J. R. Dummelow also had the same understanding of this place:

Christ addressed not all the disciples, but those who like the apostles, had received a call to leave all, and devote themselves to the work of the ministry.[36]

Likewise Russell thought that "This was a command to those who had been chosen to go forth and preach the truth."[37]

Strong agreement is felt with Boles' view that:

This does not mean that a Christian should give up everything that he has to those who are not trying to serve God; neither does it mean that a Christian should give up what he has to those who are living lives of idleness and wickedness.[38] Coffman’s Commentary Luke


We have a choice in the matter, but we should never allow any of our things come between us and God.


Luke 12:35 " Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning;  36 "and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately.  37 "Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.  38 "And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.  39 "But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.  40 "Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."


This is one many parables that stress the importance of always being ready for the master’s return, which can only be talking about the Jesus’ second coming at the judgment day. Notice, we are to have our waist girded and our lamp burning. When you keep in mind the kind of clothes they wore back then it make more sense about the girding of the waist because this consisted of them raising up their tunic so it would be around their waist making it much easier to run. So, this became a metaphor for being ready. Same thing with a lamp, because as long as the lamp was burning, they could see what they needed to do.


So, the whole point of the parable is for us a Christians to always be ready and waiting for our master Jesus to return whether He comes during the first, second or third watch, which refers to Roman watches throughout the night. In other words, be ready all the time because we do not know when Jesus will return.


Luke 12:41  Then Peter said to Him, "Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?"


Jesus does not answer Peter’s question directly, but it makes it clear in other places that this parable applies to all who are willing to take it to heart. Of course, nonChristians cannot be ready and waiting for the master until they become. I really do not want to stop right here, but I am going to. In our next lesson, we will pick up right where we left off, and we will begin with Jesus’ response to Peter, which is another parable about being ready for His return.


I hope you have learned from this lesson the importance of keeping your trust in God because He is control of where your soul will be for eternity. We must never be ashamed to confess Jesus to others or to stand up for His truth no matter how ugly man or society may become toward us. We learned that nothing can be hidden from God and that we will not be forgotten by Him. He loves us and knows everything about us. So, if we want to be in heaven for eternity, then we always need to be ready for Jesus’ return because He could come back right now or anytime in the future. Of course, the way we remain ready is by seeking the kingdom of God first, which means we are putting God and His will first in our lives.