God’s Word of Wisdom
Luke 12:1-21: Jesus warns his followers to avoid dishonest teachings and to fear only God. Today’s reading concludes with a parable that warns against placing one’s trust in earthly wealth.
A Warning against Hypocrisy
1 As thousands of people crowded together, so that they were stepping on each other, Jesus said first to his disciples, “Be on guard against the yeast of the Pharisees—I mean their hypocrisy. 2 Whatever is covered up will be uncovered, and every secret will be made known. 3So then, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in broad daylight, and whatever you have whispered in private in a closed room will be shouted from the housetops.
Whom to Fear
4“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot afterward do anything worse. 5I will show you whom to fear: fear God, who, after killing, has the authority to throw into hell. Believe me, he is the one you must fear!
6“Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one sparrow is forgotten by God. 7Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth much more than many sparrows!
Confessing and Rejecting Christ
(Matthew 10.32,33; 12.32; 10.19,20)
8“I assure you that those who declare publicly that they belong to me, the Son of Man will do the same for them before the angels of God. 9But those who reject me publicly, the Son of Man will also reject them before the angels of God.
10 “Whoever says a word against the Son of Man can be forgiven; but whoever says evil things against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
11 “When they bring you to be tried in the synagogues or before governors or rulers, do not be worried about how you will defend yourself or what you will say. 12For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
The Parable of the Rich Fool
13A man in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide with me the property our father left us.”
14Jesus answered him, “Friend, who gave me the right to judge or to divide the property between you two?” 15And he went on to say to them all, “Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because your true life is not made up of the things you own, no matter how rich you may be.”
16Then Jesus told them this parable: “There was once a rich man who had land which bore good crops. 17He began to think to himself, ‘I don’t have a place to keep all my crops. What can I do? 18This is what I will do,’ he told himself; ‘I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, where I will store the grain and all my other goods. 19 Then I will say to myself, Lucky man! You have all the good things you need for many years. Take life easy, eat, drink, and enjoy yourself!’ 20But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night you will have to give up your life; then who will get all these things you have kept for yourself?’”
21And Jesus concluded, “This is how it is with those who pile up riches for themselves but are not rich in God’s sight.”
Today’s Key Verse: Luke 12:15b
[Jesus said:] “Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because your true life is not made up of the things you own, no matter how rich you may be.”
Jesus uses the metaphor of yeast when referring to hypocrisy. What is the significance of this metaphor? Have you ever encountered someone who sought to dissuade you from your beliefs? How can you “be on guard” against false teachings?
Lord God, I place my trust in you and in your teachings. Keep my heart pure this day, and guide me in the path of your truth. Amen.
Luke 12:22-40: Jesus teaches about putting one’s trust in God.