Warnings and Encouragements
“Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” – Luke 12:1
It takes no time for Yeast to quickly make its way through the dough and in the same way, hypocrisy penetrates our fellowships if we let it. The Pharisees were masters of hypocrisies with a set of rules for them and a different set of rules for their followers. Perhaps this is why Luke devotes half of the chapter recording Jesus’ warnings regarding the pharisees.
I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. – Luke 12:4
Jesus spoke words of encouragement to his disciples reminding them that God is always in control. He told them not to be afraid of those who can destroy the body but can do nothing to the soul. God has numbered every hair on our head and he values us more than anything else.
We should never be afraid of publicly accepting Christ fearing persecution, as the Heavenly Father is the only one who has the power beyond our body. Moreover, we are here only temporarily, our destination is back to our Father and so we should make sure that we direct our paths towards eternal life.
And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Luke 12:5
Sounds strange that blasphemy against Jesus will be forgiven but not against the Holy Spirit. One can only come to God through Jesus (John14:6) and it is God who pours his spirit on people. So, the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit has already tasted the Lord and hence would be held to a greater account.
Holy Spirit teaches us how to respond to persecutions and fills us with boldness to proclaim our faith, like we see in Acts how the Holy Spirit guided Paul to speak in every situation.
The Parable of the Rich Fool
“The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ – Luke 12:16-20
Our heart will be where we set up our treasures. Many of us work hard and save up for the uncertainties of the future. Often times, we end up keeping the work of Christ also for our retirement thinking we will have plenty of time then. Are we giving our best years for the service of Christ or are we like Cain, planning to give our leftover years to God.
There is nothing wrong in saving for the future but is that taking control of our entire life. If we see this life as our temporary home then we would be more concerned about storing treasures in heaven, our permanent home, for the ultimate retirement plan.
Do Not Worry
We are much more valuable than sparrows in the sight of God and if He takes care of those tiny creatures then He will definitely have a plan for our life. Jesus gives the example of the beauty of even the wild flowers, how well He takes care of them and that even Solomon, one of the richest king wasn’t dressed like that. All we need to do is depend on Him completely and seek His kingdom and He will take care of the rest.
Jesus calls us little flock, a small one that is completely dependent on its shepherd. Similarly, we should depend on God for everything, He has already accepted us as His kids. We do not need to save up for ourselves in this world where we would just be worried of our treasures getting stolen or destroyed and being on guard always, when we can save up in heaven without hassle, which should be our goal.
“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet” – Luke 12:35
The master (Jesus) will return and the servants (the people who do not know Christ) have to be ready to open the gate. This master will recline the servants at the table and wait on them. Jesus mentions that when He came the first time, He came to serve. The servant should always be ready and waiting for the master as He will come at an unexpected time.
Peter was not sure if Jesus was saying this to the disciples or the crowds. Jesus simplifies the parable by telling that there are faithful and wise managers (those who know Jesus) whom the master has appointed to take care of the servants who do not know the master’s will.
Not Peace but Division
“I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! … Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. – Luke 12:49-50
We call Jesus the Prince of Peace and the above verse is a stark contradiction to that notion. When we keep Jesus as top priority in our lives, the troubles are bound to come but if we keep our family, career or other things on top then we would have a peaceful life but we will be moving in the opposite direction of God in the ways of this world.
Interpreting the Times
Jesus tells us here that we look at meteorological signs and are able to interpret the weather conditions but knowingly ignore Jesus’ call in our lives. We need to be ready and prepare ourselves for Jesus’ return and share His love with others through reconciliation.