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Bible Commentaries
Luke 12

The Bible Study New TestamentBible Study NT

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Verses 1-5


As thousands of people crowded together. This is one of the statements which show the great influence of Christ on the people. [See also Mark 1:33; Mark 2:2; Mark 3:9; Mark 6:31; etc.] This sermon is almost identical to the one in Matthew. Be on guard against the yeast. Symbolic of the spirit of the Pharisees. Religion can easily become only ritual and hypocrisy. See note on Matthew 16:6. Whatever Is covered up. For notes on Luke 12:2-5, see Matthew 10:26-28. The houses had flat roofs which made a “stage” for someone to speak and attract attention.

Verses 6-9


Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Sparrows were the cheapest birds sold. See notes on Matthew 10:29-33,

Verse 10


Will not be forgiven. For notes on the “unforgiveable sin,” see Matthew 12:31-32.

Verses 11-12


When they bring you to be tried in the synagogues. A promise of supernormal help. See notes on Matthew 10:19-20.

Verses 13-14


A man in the crowd said to him. Only Luke gives this parable of the Rich Fool. Tell my brother. Whether this man’s brother had been unfair or not, isn’t told. But the parable shows that the one who said this was motivated by greed. He wants Jesus on his side to be able to force the brother to give in to his demands. Man, who gave me the right? The Lord’s business was not to help secure land and money for others. His mission was to save. [There were legal authorities to handle such things. But note what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:1-6.]

Verse 15


Guard yourselves from all kinds of greed. Money is not the problem, but the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10). A man’s true life. Comfort, happiness, and especially eternal things do not depend upon how much we have of material wealth. Many have sacrificed health to gain wealth, only to be forced to sacrifice wealth to attempt to regain health.

Verses 16-19


Then Jesus told them this parable. To show that riches are no protection. A rich man had land. No hint that this man was dishonest. He worked hard for what he had. What can I do? His riches were in the form of perishable foodstuffs. Where I will store the grain and all my other goods. Notice his intention to hoard his surplus, instead of using it for the good of others. Selfishness is the beginning of his foolishness. You have all the good things you need for many years. His second serious mistake is to forget that we are all transients in this life. Take life easy. His third error is ignore his spiritual needs. It is not his wealth which is wrong, but his attitude toward it, and what it symbolizes to him.

Verses 20-21


You fool! His fellow men may have thought he was wise, but he is a fool in God’s view. This every night you will have to give up your life. He thought he had long years ahead of him, but instead his life is terminated! He thought he was secure, but he dies unprepared. [Note that the same Greek word is translated life or soul by its meaning in a sentence.] This is how it is. Every man is a fool, who worships riches as an idol, and neglects the One True God. See note on Matthew 6:24.

Verses 22-31


Do not be worried. These verses about Trust in God are almost identical to those in Matthew 6:25-34. See notes there.

Verse 32


Do not be afraid, little flock. The flock of sheep is safe only because of the Shepherd’s protection. Jesus is the True Shepherd (John 10:1-16). Your Father is pleased to give you the Kingdom. This is both the Kingdom/church now (Matthew 16:18; Colossians 1:13), and the promise of “new heavens and a new earth” (2 Peter 3:13).

Verse 33


Sell all your belongings. The Lord does not intend to say that everyone should take a “vow of poverty.” He shows that the only way to store up wealth is to use it for good. Compare Acts 2:45. See notes on Matthew 6:19-21.

Verses 35-46


Be ready for whatever comes. People in the East wore long robes, which had to be tucked under their belts to get ready to travel. See notes on Matthew 24:42-44. And your lamps lit. See notes on Matthew 25:3-8. They will open the door for him at once. The master returning from a wedding feast would be expecting his servants to “wait up on him.” If they were asleep, or unprepared, it would take them a long time to answer. Knew the time when the thief would come. See notes on Matthew 24:43-44. Peter said. Peter sometimes did not know just how far Jesus intended his parables to apply. Compare notes on Matthew 18:21-22. Who, then, is the faithful and wise servant? See notes on Matthew 24:45-51.

Verses 47-48


The servant who knows. This servant deliberately sins. But the servant who does not know. This servant sins through ignorance. This parable points especially to those who listen to Jesus and were pleased with what he said, but made no attempt to learn its meaning or apply it to their lives. The greatest work is to believe in Christ (John 6:29). The greatest sin is to reject Christ (Matthew 12:31-32). Degrees of reward and punishment become meaningless when compared with Eternal Joy or Eternal Punishment.

Verse 49


I came to set the earth on fire. Conflict and persecution would be the effect of preaching the Good News. When Truth is put into the hands of a man, he MUST decide what to do with it! See notes on Matthew 10:34-37. How I wish it were already kindled. Some see in this the opposition of the Jewish leaders which leads to the Cross. But Jesus seems to point beyond to the beginning of his church on Pentecost. Compare Hebrews 2:9-10.

Verse 50


I have a baptism to receive. This is symbolic of the events presented in the act of the Cross. How distressed I am. He anticipated the heavy load of the Crucifixion. Compare Hebrews 5:7-10.

Verses 51-53


Not peace, I tell you, but division. Following Jesus sometimes “tears us loose” from both people and things we love. See note on Matthew 10:34.

Verses 54-56


When you see a cloud coming up. The Jewish Age was about to close. See notes on Matthew 16:2-3.

Verses 57-59


Why do you not judge for yourselves. They had enough information, and they could see all that was taking place. If a man brings a lawsuit against you. This is another example of doing everything you can to be prepared—while you can do it! See notes on Matthew 5:25-26. Until you pay the last penny. This was true of material things. The spiritual lesson is that when you stand before the Judge, it will be too late to solve your problem. Compare Hebrews 4:6-7.

Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Luke 12". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ice/luke-12.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.
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