Bible: Luke 12

Fear God, Not People

12:1 Meanwhile, 1  when many thousands of the crowd had gathered so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus 2  began to speak first to his disciples, “Be on your guard against 3  the yeast of the Pharisees, 4  which is hypocrisy. 5  12:2 Nothing is hidden 6  that will not be revealed, 7  and nothing is secret that will not be made known. 12:3 So then 8  whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered 9  in private rooms 10  will be proclaimed from the housetops. 11 

12:4I 12  tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, 13  and after that have nothing more they can do. 12:5 But I will warn 14  you whom you should fear: Fear the one who, after the killing, 15  has authority to throw you 16  into hell. 17  Yes, I tell you, fear him! 12:6 Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? 18  Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. 12:7 In fact, even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; 19  you are more valuable than many sparrows.

12:8I 20  tell you, whoever acknowledges 21  me before men, 22  the Son of Man will also acknowledge 23  before God’s angels. 12:9 But the one who denies me before men will be denied before God’s angels. 12:10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the person who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit 24  will not be forgiven. 25  12:11 But when they bring you before the synagogues, 26  the 27  rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how you should make your defense 28  or what you should say, 12:12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment 29  what you must say.” 30 

The Parable of the Rich Landowner

12:13 Then 31  someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell 32  my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 12:14 But Jesus 33  said to him, “Man, 34  who made me a judge or arbitrator between you two? 35  12:15 Then 36  he said to them, “Watch out and guard yourself from 37  all types of greed, 38  because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 12:16 He then 39  told them a parable: 40  “The land of a certain rich man produced 41  an abundant crop, 12:17 so 42  he thought to himself, 43 What should I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 44  12:18 Then 45  he said, ‘I 46  will do this: I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 12:19 And I will say to myself, 47 You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate!”’ 12:20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life 48  will be demanded back from 49  you, but who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 50  12:21 So it is with the one who stores up riches for himself, 51  but is not rich toward God.”

Exhortation Not to Worry

12:22 Then 52  Jesus 53  said to his 54  disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry 55  about your 56  life, what you will eat, or about your 57  body, what you will wear. 12:23 For there is more to life than food, and more to the body than clothing. 12:24 Consider the ravens: 58  They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds 59  them. How much more valuable are you than the birds! 12:25 And which of you by worrying 60  can add an hour to his life? 61  12:26 So if 62  you cannot do such a very little thing as this, why do you worry about 63  the rest? 12:27 Consider how the flowers 64  grow; they do not work 65  or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! 12:28 And if 66  this is how God clothes the wild grass, 67  which is here 68  today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, 69  how much more 70  will he clothe you, you people of little faith! 12:29 So 71  do not be overly concerned about 72  what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not worry about such things. 73  12:30 For all the nations of the world pursue 74  these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 12:31 Instead, pursue 75  his 76  kingdom, 77  and these things will be given to you as well.

12:32Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is well pleased 78  to give you the kingdom. 12:33 Sell your possessions 79  and give to the poor. 80  Provide yourselves purses that do not wear out – a treasure in heaven 81  that never decreases, 82  where no thief approaches and no moth 83  destroys. 12:34 For where your treasure 84  is, there your heart will be also.

Call to Faithful Stewardship

12:35Get dressed for service 85  and keep your lamps burning; 86  12:36 be like people 87  waiting for their master to come back from the wedding celebration, 88  so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 12:37 Blessed are those slaves 89  whom their master finds alert 90  when he returns! I tell you the truth, 91  he will dress himself to serve, 92  have them take their place at the table, 93  and will come 94  and wait on them! 95  12:38 Even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night 96  and finds them alert, 97  blessed are those slaves! 98  12:39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief 99  was coming, he would not have let 100  his house be broken into. 12:40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” 101 

12:41 Then 102  Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone? 103  12:42 The Lord replied, 104 Who then is the faithful and wise manager, 105  whom the master puts in charge of his household servants, 106  to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? 12:43 Blessed is that slave 107  whom his master finds at work 108  when he returns. 12:44 I tell you the truth, 109  the master 110  will put him in charge of all his possessions. 12:45 But if 111  that 112  slave should say to himself, 113 My master is delayed 114  in returning,’ and he begins to beat 115  the other 116  slaves, both men and women, 117  and to eat, drink, and get drunk, 12:46 then the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not foresee, and will cut him in two, 118  and assign him a place with the unfaithful. 119  12:47 That 120  servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or do what his master asked 121  will receive a severe beating. 12:48 But the one who did not know his master’s will 122  and did things worthy of punishment 123  will receive a light beating. 124  From everyone who has been given much, much will be required, 125  and from the one who has been entrusted with much, 126  even more will be asked. 127 

Not Peace, but Division

12:49I have come 128  to bring 129  fire on the earth – and how I wish it were already kindled! 12:50 I have a baptism 130  to undergo, 131  and how distressed I am until it is finished! 12:51 Do you think I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! 132  12:52 For from now on 133  there will be five in one household divided, three against two and two against three. 12:53 They will be divided, 134  father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Reading the Signs

12:54 Jesus 135  also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, 136  you say at once, ‘A rainstorm 137  is coming,’ and it does. 12:55 And when you see the south wind 138  blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and there is. 12:56 You hypocrites! 139  You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky, but how can you not know how 140  to interpret the present time?

Clear the Debts

12:57And 141  why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 12:58 As you are going with your accuser before the magistrate, 142  make an effort to settle with him on the way, so that he will not drag you before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, 143  and the officer throw you into prison. 12:59 I tell you, you will never get out of there until you have paid the very last cent!” 144 

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