Text: Luke 12
Event(s): Jesus teaches to beware of hypocrisy, Jesus teaches the fear of God, Confess Christ before men, The parable of the rich fool, Do not worry, The faithful and even servant, Christ brings division, Discern the time, Make peace with your adversary
Luke 12:3 “whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light,” We can look at this two ways: as a warning to not say or do anything that we wouldn’t say or do if Jesus was standing right in front of us. (cf Numbers 32:23) But secondly, it serves more as a positive encouragement rather than an ominous threat knowing God will provide opportunity for greater proclamation of the Gospel.
Luke 12:4-7 “Fear God” Fearing God involves trust, not terror. When we’re scared, we have something to hide. But to fear God is to venerate Him; to regard Him with great respect. We know Him and our trust is in His character and nature, so therefore we honor, respect, esteem, value, reverence, and stand in awe of Him more than anything else. To fear God is to embrace His heart. To love what He loves; hate what He hates. The Bible also says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. (Psalm 110:10; Proverbs 9:10) Do you want to be a wise person? The key to true wisdom starts with how we behold our God.
Luke 12:8-12 “Confess Christ before men” Confession of who God is to us is a cure against the hypocrisy Jesus just warned about. In fact, as we learn from reading this entire passage in Luke 12, the fear of God and our confession of who He is, is really the antidote to all the other things mentioned throughout this chapter. It’s often been said that our relationship with God is indeed personal, but it was never meant to be private. This is very true. Let it be known that we are believers, let us confess it with our words, and the Holy Spirit will be right there with us, guiding us and telling us what we should say.
Luke 12:22-28 “Do not worry” Whenever we spot worry in our lives, we have been given a gift. The gift is that we are made aware, through an uncomfortable experience like worry, to recognize where we are not trusting fully in the character and nature of our God. What our fallen nature tries to use as evil against us, God offers it as an opportunity to grow deeper into a trusting relationship with Him. And we need not reach into the depths of theology or dive into the hallways of universities to find our answer. Indeed, we can learn the lesson of God’s faithfulness simply from watching a bird or looking upon a flower.
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” -Corrie ten Boom
Luke 12:34 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” A life totally occupied with the things of the kingdom, where we fear God and honor him more than the things this world can offer, will be free from covetousness.
Luke 12:33 “Sell what you have and give alms;” The encouragement here is to strip down and live a more simplified life. We could all benefit from this, couldn’t we?
Luke 12:35 “Let your waist be girded” Ephesians 6:14 reminds us that our waist is to be girded with truth. This parable of the faithful and evil servant is a call for alertness, preparedness.
Today’s Takeaway: I want to go back to the point about confessing Christ before men and what I want to point out is that we must be careful that we don’t impose our own expectations of what it looks like for others to “live our faith out loud.”For many of us, we want and expect others to speak a certain way, pray a certain way, read their Bible a certain way, and if they don’t we start to go down the trail of suspicion that they are either not being bold about their faith, or that their faith is not genuine and sincere. I see this a lot with parents expectations of what active faith looks like in their children’s lives, and with spouses towards their husband/wife. For starters, we should never place ourselves in this kind of posture of judgment, lest we become poisoned with the “leaven of the Pharisees.” But if there comes a time where we are genuinely concerned of apathy in a loved one, perhaps the best prayer we could ever offer is that they come to glorify God in the way they were created to – not in the way we think they should.
Additional (optional) reading: Numbers 32:23, Psalm 110:10; Proverbs 9:10, Psalm 25:14, Ephesians 6:14,