Return to The Gospel Of Luke.
Important: This is not a translation or paraphrase, but a story based on Luke 12.
[Note: You can look up difficult words at www.thefreedictionary.com.]
Meanwhile, when a crowd of several thousand had gathered - in fact there were so many people they were trampling on each other, Jesus began to speak to His disciples: “Be on your guard against the teaching of the Pharisees, which is nothing but hypocrisy. It is like yeast which seems small and harmless, but it spreads and changes everything it touches. Remember, there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be revealed. What you have said in the darkness of night will be proclaimed loudly in the daylight. What you have whispered in someone’s ear in a secret room will be shouted from the housetops.”
Jesus went on, “I tell you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who can kill the body and after that have nothing more they can do. I will tell you who you should be afraid of: Be afraid of the One who, after killing the body has the power to throw you into Hell. Yes, I am warning you, you should be afraid of Him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. If you truly follow God, you do not have to be afraid, because you are much more valuable to God than many sparrows.”
“But,” Jesus continued, “You have to make sure you are really following God. Anybody that admits before their friends and enemies that I am their Lord and Saviour will have Me gladly admit before the angels of God that I know them. However, if they refuse to confess that I am their Lord and Saviour, then I will not admit to knowing them before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Finally, when you are arrested and brought before synagogues, judges, and other authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourself. The Holy Spirit will give you the words you need at the time.”
As Jesus was teaching His disciples, someone in the large crowd called out, “Teacher, tell my brother to divided the family inheritance with me!”
Jesus responded, “Man, who appointed Me to be a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then He said to the crowd, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed! Remember, your life is not made up of how many things you have.”
Jesus illustrated His point by telling them a parable:
The farm of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, “What am I going to do? I do not have enough room to store all my crops.” After he thought about it he decided, “I know what I will do. I will tear down these barns and build bigger and better ones. Then I will have room to store all my crops and goods. When I have completed that I will have saved enough that I can retire and take life easy. Eat, drink and be merry will be my motto!”
But listen to what God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Now who is going to get everything you prepared for yourself?”
Jesus finished by saying, “This is what will happen with anyone who stores up things for himself, but is not rich toward God.”
Jesus turned back to His disciples, “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what clothes you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothes. Think about the ravens: They do not sow crops or reap them, they have no storerooms or barns; yet God feeds them. And think about how much more valuable you are than birds! Which one of you, by worrying, can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do that very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
“Think about how the lilies grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet, I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God dresses the grass of the field, which is here today and is thrown into the fire tomorrow, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith. And do not focus your desires on what you eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the ungodly world concentrates on all those things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven, that will not be exhausted and where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be as well.”
Be dressed ready for instant service with the lights on, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching and prepared when he comes. I tell you the truth, the master will dress himself as a servant, and will have the servants recline at the table and come and wait on them. It will be very good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he doesn’t come until midnight or 3 o’clock in the morning. But you must understand this: If the owner of the house had known when the thief was planning to break in, he would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come unexpectedly.”
Peter asked, “Lord, are You telling this parable only to us, or to everyone?”
The Lord answered by continuing, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their supplies at the right time? There will be a reward for that servant that the master finds working in obedience when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But, if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming...’ and then he begins to mistreat the servants under his authority and eat and drink and get drunk, the master will arrive at a time he does not expect him. The master will then punish him and throw him out with the unbelievers.
“Keep in mind that the servant who knows his master’s will and ignores or disobeys it, will have a severe punishment. But the servant who does not know his master’s will and does things against his master’s desires, will have a lighter punishment. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
Jesus paused and then declared, “I have come to bring fire on the earth...and how I wish it was already started! But before that happens I have a work that I must do and how distressed I am until it is completed! Do you think that I came to bring peace on the earth? No, I tell you, not peace but division. From now one there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
Jesus turned to the crowd and said, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to read the signs on the earth and in the sky. How is it that you don’t understand the times in which you are living?”
Continuing on, Jesus said, “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? As you are going with your opponent to see the judge, try hard to be reconciled with him on the way, or may lose your case in court and the judge will hand you over to the officer, and the officer will throw you into prison. I tell you, you will not get out until you have completely paid your fine.”