Christ preaches to his apostles to avoid hypocrisy and fearfulness in publishing his doctrine, 1-12; warns the people to beware of covetousness by the parable of the rich man who set up greater barns, 13-21. We must not be over careful of earthly things, 22-30, but seek the kingdom of God, 31, 32; give alms, 33, 34; be ready at a knock to open to our Lord whenever he comes, 35-40. Christ's ministers are to see to their charge, 41-48, and look for persecution, 49-53. The people must take this time of grace, 54-56; because it is a fearful thing to die without reconciliation, 57-59.
1 In the mean time, when there was gathered an innumerable multitude of people so that they trod upon 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 shall not be revealed, neither hid that shall not be known. 3 Therefore, whatever you have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light, and that which you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms shall be proclaimed upon the house-tops.
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 forewarn you of whom you shall fear. Fear him, who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell. Indeed, I say to you, fear him. 6 Are five sparrows not sold for two assarions? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 But even every hair of your head has been numbered. Do not fear therefore. You are of more value than many sparrows.
8 "Also I say to you, whoever confesses me before men, the Son of man will also confess him before the angels of God. 9 But he who denies me before men shall be denied before the angels of God. 10 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man, he shall be forgiven, but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, he shall not be forgiven. 11 And when they bring you to the synagogues and before magistrates and powers, do not be solicitous how or what thing you shall answer or what you shall say. 12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in the same hour what you ought to say."
13 And someone from the company said to him, "Master, speak to my brother so that he divides the inheritance with me." 14 And he said to him, "Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?" 15 And he said to them, "Take heed, and beware of covetousness, for a man's life does not consist in the abundance of the things which he possesses." 16 And he spoke a parable to them, saying, "The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, for I do not have room to deposit my fruits?' 18 And he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater ones, and there I will deposit all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have abundance of goods laid up for many years. Take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry."' 20 But God said to him, 'You fool, this night your soul shall be required of you. Then whose shall those things be which you have provided?' 21 Thus is he who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God."
22 And he said to his disciples, "Therefore, I say to you, do not be anxious for your life—what you shall eat; neither for the body—what you shall put on. 23 The life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, which neither have store-house, nor barn, and God feeds them. How much more are you better than the birds? 25 And which of you by solicitude can add to his stature one cubit? 26 If you then are not able to do that thing which is least, why are you anxious for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they do not toil, they do not spin, and yet I say to you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God thus clothes the grass, which is today in the field and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith? 29 And do not seek what you shall eat or what you shall drink, neither be of doubtful mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after. And your Father knows that you have need of these things. 31 But rather seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. 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 bags which do not become old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches, neither moth corrupts. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.
35 "Let your loins be girt and your lights burning, 36 And you yourselves be like men who wait for their lord when he returns from the wedding, so that when he comes and knocks, they may open to him immediately. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the lord finds watching when he comes. Truly I say to you, that he will gird himself and make them to sit down to eat, and will come forth and serve them. 38 And if he comes in the second watch, or comes in the third watch, and finds them in this manner, blessed are those servants.
39 "And know this, that if the master of the house knew at what hour the thief would come, he would watch and not allow his house to be broken through. 40 Therefore, be ready also, for the Son of man comes at an hour when you do not think."
41 Then Peter said to him, "Lord, do you speak this parable to us, or even to all?" 42 And the Lord said, "Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord makes ruler over his household to give them their portion of provisions in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his lord finds doing so when he comes. 44 In truth I say to you, that he will make him ruler over all that he has. 45 But if that servant says in his heart, 'My lord delays his coming,' and begins to beat the men-servants and maidens and to eat, drink, and to be drunken, 46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he does not look for him and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him apart and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant who knew his lord's will and did not prepare himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he who did not know and committed things worthy of stripes shall be beaten with few stripes. For to whomever much is given, much shall be required of him, and to whom men have committed much, they will ask the more from him.
49 "I have come to send fire on the earth, and what do I wish, but that it is already kindled? 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how I am distressed until it is accomplished! 51 Do you suppose that I have come to give peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division. 52 For from now on there will be five in one house divided: three against two and two against three. 53 The father will be divided against the son and the son against the father, the mother against the daughter and the daughter against the mother, the mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."
54 And he said also to the people, "When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, 'There comes a shower,' and it is so. 55 And when you perceive the south wind blowing, you say, 'There will be heat,' and it comes to pass. 56 You hypocrites. You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it that you do not discern this time?
57 "And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? 58 When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, as you are in the way, give diligence so that you may be delivered from him, lest he draw you before the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer cast you into prison. 59 I tell you, you shall not depart from there until you have paid the very last mite."
Matthew Henry Commentary - Luke, Chapter 12[➚]
[v.1] - Gospel Link: Matthew 16:6; Mark 8:15.
[v.2-7] - Gospel Link: Matthew 10:26-31.
[v.8-9] - Gospel Link: Matthew 10:32-33; Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26.
[v.10] - Gospel Link: Matthew 12:31-32; Mark 3:28-30.
[v.11-12] - Gospel Link: Matthew 10:19-20.
[v.22-28] - Gospel Link: Matthew 6:25-30.
[v.24a] - "He who is the feeder of sparrows, will also furnish you with what you need." -Charles Spurgeon
[v.24b] - Reference, Job 38:41.
[v.29-32] - Gospel Link: Matthew 6:31-34.
[v.33-34] - Gospel Link: Matthew 6:19-21.
[v.36-37] - Gospel Link: Matthew 24:45-46.
[v.39-40] - Gospel Link: Matthew 24:42-44; Mark 13:35.
[v.41-46] - Gospel Link: Matthew 24:45-51.
[v.51-53] - Gospel Link: Matthew 10:34-35.
[v.53] - Reference, Micah 7:6.
[v.54-56] - Gospel Link: Matthew 16:2-3.
[v.58-59] - Gospel Link: Matthew 5:25-26.
[v.59] - "until you have paid the very last mite" - In other words, "until you have paid every bit of the fine." The Latin text reads, "donec etiam novissimum minutum reddas," which means, "indeed until you pay back the very last." See also the comment for Mark 12:42.