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
12:4 “I 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.
12:8 “I 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.
12:32 “Do 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
12:35 “Get 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
12:49 “I 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
12:57 “And 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