Luke Chapter 12:1-34
for this week: 1 Cor 10:12 Wherefore
let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
We continue our study of
the book of Luke this week as we continue in chapter 12. Last week,
we studied the last half of Chapter 11 where Jesus taught the people
that there would be no sign given unto them, but the sign of the
prophet Jonas. He taught on the parable of the lighted candle, and
closed pronouncing woes upon the religious lawyers who were not
helping the people, but rather lading them with greater burdens.
We begin this weeks study with a warning about the leaven of the
Warns of the Leaven of the Pharisees
12:1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an
innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon
another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye
of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
12:2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed;
neither hid, that shall not be known.
12:3 Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard
in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets
shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
Chapter 12 opens
with a large number of people (an innumerable multitude is says)
coming out to hear Jesus teach. He tells them to beware of the
leaven of the Pharisees. We know leaven speaks of sin, and the
Pharisees were people who spoke correct religious words, but inside
were full of hypocrisy. God wants us to be both pure on the
outside and the inside. He wasn’t us to first clean out the inside
(which takes salvation through Jesus Christ), and then to live the
Godly life day by day. He warns them that nothing will be covered
one day. All shall be revealed and nothing hid. All of our
negative words and deeds will be known one day. This should give us
a reason to temper our tongues and be careful. Even negative
thoughts should be put from us. It says that what was spoken in
darkness will be heard in the light, and what we said in the closet
will be proclaimed upon the housetops.
12:4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill
the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which
after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto
you, Fear him.
Why did Jesus
call these people ‘my friends’? It was because he cared about
those people and they were truly his friends. God has a personal
interest in every one of them, and he cares for you and I with a
GREAT, GREAT love. Jesus is that friend that sticks closer than a
18:24 A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there
is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth
not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all
things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Jesus warned the
people to not fear the one who could kill the body, but rather fear
the one who can cast your soul into hell. In other words, fear
God. Don’t be overly concerned with the people around you. Even
those who are mean and may persecute you. They may can destroy this
earthly tabernacle, but they can’t touch the soul. To die a
martyr’s death would be the greatest way to leave this world.
12:6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of
them is forgotten before God?
12:7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear
not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
12:8 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men,
him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God:
So many times we
forget that God takes care of even the sparrows. I have a bird
feeder and a bird bath in my back yard, and I really enjoy watching
the birds flock in there to get food and water. This time of year
we get a lot of doves and crows to go along with the sparrows and
blue birds. And the humming birds are the most adorable of birds
to me. As you watch those wings flutter at tremendous speed, it
makes me realize how marvelous are God’s creations. And God takes
care of those little animals. If the very hairs of our head are
all numbered, then we need to know that God truly loves and takes
care of us. Verse 8 has a promise that if we confess Jesus before
men here on earth, one day Jesus will confess us before the angels
In the King
James Study Bible, they had a good comment about the security of the
believer in Jesus Christ.
But the child of God is
secure in Christ, both now and forever. Nothing can ever harm a
believer in thus life, apart from the permission of God according to
His perfect will.
12:9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the
angels of God.
12:10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it
shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the
Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.
It is a serious
thing to deny Christ before men. He says if we deny Christ before
men, that one day he will deny us before the angels of God. Verse
10 speaks of the most horrible sin recorded in the Word of God.
Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is the one sin that can not be
forgiven. This means that when we hear the Gospel preached, and
our heart is pricked with our sin, and the Holy Spirit draws us to
God to be saved, that we reject that calling and refuse to be
saved. That means we are turning against the Holy Spirit, and there
is no forgiveness of that sin. If you are lost, and you hear the
Gospel and the call of the Spirit, you need to turn to Jesus to be
saved while there is still time. In this life, there is no sin
that can’t be forgiven. We can be the worst thief, a person who has
murdered others and still have our sins forgiven. We may have been
a drunk, spoke evil of others, took God’s name in vain, but the
these are all things that can be atoned for by the shed blood of
Jesus Christ. But to reject the testimony of God is to deliberately
sin against the Holy Ghost. Going out of this life without Jesus
means to be separated from God forever. Don’t be guilty of
blaspheming the Holy Ghost.
12:11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto
magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye
shall answer, or what ye shall say:
12:12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye
ought to say.
Jesus tells His
disciples that the same Holy Spirit would be the one that enabled
them to speak in that hour. They might not know what to speak
when brought before the authorities, but through the guidance of the
Holy Spirit, they would be able to speak boldly.
said this about verses 11 and 12.
Whatever trials they
should be called out to, they should be sufficiently furnished for
them, and honorably brought through them, v. 11, 12. The faithful
martyr for Christ has not only sufferings to undergo,
but a testimony to bear, a good confession to
witness, and is concerned to do that well, so that the
cause of Christ may not suffer, though he suffer for it; and, if
this be his care, let him cast it upon God: "When they bring you
into the synagogues, before church-rulers, before the Jewish
courts, or before magistrates and powers, Gentile rulers,
rulers in the state, to be examined about your doctrine, what it is,
and what the proof of it, take no thought what ye shall answer,’’
[1.] "That you may save yourselves. Do not study by what art
or rhetoric to mollify your judges, or by what tricks in law to
bring yourselves off; if it be the will of God that you should come
off, and your time is not yet come, he will bring it about
effectually.’’ [2.] "That you may serve your Master; aim at
this, but do not perplex yourselves about it, for the Holy Ghost,
as a Spirit of wisdom, shall teach you what you ought to say,
and how to say it, so that it may be for the honour of God and his
II. The Sin and
Danger of Covetousness
12:13 And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my
brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.
12:14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider
One in this
company comes to Jesus and asks him to speak to his brother about
dividing the inheritance with him. Jesus appears to note a spirit
of covetousness in the man, and says that he is not a judge or a
divider of property. While things of this life many times seem so
important to us, these are minor things in the overall plan of the
Lord. Certainly God will help us through all matters of life, but
we are not to be overwhelmed by the things we face. And most of
all, we should not covet what others have.
12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness:
for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which
against covetousness. Covetousness means we have a desire to grasp
something that God has withheld from us though he may have given it
to others. We need to be content with our situation as it is and
be content with the things we have. Paul told the Philippians that
he had learned to do that.
4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in
whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every
where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be
hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Jesus says that
a man’s life is a lot more than the abundance of things that he
acquires in this life. The happiest person is not the one with the
most possessions, but the man who gives the most. A person who has
learned to share with others the good things God has entrusted to
him is a happy person indeed. We won’t take anything with us, but
we can sure give in this life and be blessed when we come to God one
day due to the rewards. I am reading an excellent book, and the
author said the happiest man is the one whose pleasures are the
least expensive. Perhaps that is worldly thinking to some regard,
but when the things God gives us satisfy us, it is Godly thinking.
Nothing is greater than the pure and perfect gifts from above.
12:16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a
certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
12:17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do,
because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
12:18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and
build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up
for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
12:20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall
be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou
12:21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich
This fellow had
a lot going for him, and his plans were not so bad except for one
major failure. No where did he consider God in his plans. This man
had been blessed with so many worldly treasures but he never seemed
to ever think about how these things should be used to the glory of
the Lord. There is nothing wrong with making plans to have proper
provision for the future. But we should consult the Lord in all of
our decisions. Because the man left God out of his plans, God calls
the man a fool. Any time we lay up treasures for ourselves and are
not rich toward God, we can be like this man. Are we all giving
our tithes and offerings like we should? One tenth of our income
truly belongs to the Lord, and we need to give cheerfully and out of
a heart of liberality. Are we laying up treasures for ourselves
down here on earth, or do we give like we should and build up
treasures in heaven where there is nothing that can take away the
reward. We truly should give our tithe and make special offerings
for things like missions.
6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and
rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither
moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through
6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
12:22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you,
Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the
body, what ye shall put on.
12:23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than
In this hour, so
many men are concerned only for what there is in it for them.
Jesus wants us to not worry about our life, but let Him provide our
daily provisions. We so many times worry about what we are going
to eat and what we are going to wear, but life is much more than
food and clothing. Jesus tells us to not worry about what we will
eat or wear.
12:24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which
neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much
more are ye better than the fowls?
12:25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature
12:26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why
take ye thought for the rest?
Christ tells us
to look at the ravens as an illustration of how God will provide for
us if we will but look to him and be obedient children. I’ve never
seen a raven out with a hoe digging up the ground to plant some
seed. But while he never sows a thing, nor reaps the harvest, God
provides for him. It says “God feedeth them.” I have marvelled
in the winter when a pickup may go down the road with bales of hay,
and some will fall out and the seed scatter across the ground. Then
here come the birds. How do they happen along just where that feed
falls off the truck? I wonder? Smile… I think we know, it is
God that feeds them. And God asks us a simple question, “How much
more are ye better than the fowls?” MUCH MORE is the answer. God
loves His children just as you and I love our children and
grandchildren. Verse 25 points out that we can’t add an inch to
our height. We grow according to the Lord’s plan as we grow from a
child to a grown adult. If we can trust him in our growth, why
can’t we trust him for his provision? If he takes care of the big
things, he will sure take care of the small ones too.
12:27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin
not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not
arrayed like one of these.
12:28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the
field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he
clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Jesus uses the
lilies of the field as an example of God’s ability to provide for
us. David said in the Psalms that he had never seen the righteous
forsaken or his seed begging bread. How about you? I have not.
37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the
righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
37:26 He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.
J. Vernon McGee
made these comments about these verses.
Our Lord said,
“Consider the lilies, how they grow.” Flowers are saying a lot to us
today: “My, you human beings certainly go to a great deal of trouble
to take care of your bodies. You use lotions, sprays, ointments, and
perfume, among other things upon your bodies, and then you clothe
them. Even after you are all perfumed and dressed up, you cannot
compare to the beauty of a flower.” What a message, friend. Some of
us need to depend upon God a little bit more.
If then God
so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is
cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little
faith? [Luke 12:28].
This is not to
encourage indolence. Birds cannot build barns; flowers cannot spin.
But man can. God intends him to use the ability He gave him—but not
to live as if the exercise of these abilities is all there is to
Our world is engaged in
commerce. Half of the world will spend its heart’s blood in building
a better mouse trap while the other half will go to the ends of the
earth to buy the mouse trap. Both groups are forgetting there is a
God in heaven and that all men have an eternal soul.
All men will one day
stand before the awful presence of God, stripped of the “things”
that occupied his life on earth. He will have no treasure up there.
He lived without God; he will die without God.
12:29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink,
neither be ye of doubtful mind.
12:30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after:
and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
12:31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things
shall be added unto you.
12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure
to give you the kingdom.
12:33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags
which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where
no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.
12:34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
If we would seek
first things first, we would have peace of mind when it comes to our
daily provisions. God knows all about our need for food and
clothing. If we are willing to put Him first in our lives, be sure
God will provide all the things we need. Many times we go all out
for what we want instead of using the money with which God has
blessed us for what we need. He warns us to put our treasures in
heaven. Where is your treasure? Is down here on earth, or do you
invest for the day to come. What efforts we put into God’s work
will last into eternity. For where your treasure is, there will
your heart be also.
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4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth
more and more unto the perfect day.
e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Each act spreads, and many will
executive editor; Edward E. Hinson and Michael Kroll
Woodrow, general editors, KJV Bible commentary [computer
file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville:
Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1994.
Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible,
(Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.