Luke 12:1-34

Luke 12:4- - What are the implications of this teaching? Jesus is saying that pretty much anything that might happen to us on earth is trivial compared to what comes next. There's nothing to fear - no violence, disease, poverty, oppression - nothing. It all pales to what God can do to us if we refuse to follow him. The main call is for unbelievers to come to faith, but the implications to believers is huge. We can live boldly because we have nothing to fear. Nothing.

Far from a 'fire and brimstone' statement, Jesus is saying do want to be free from fear in this life? Then pay attention to what comes next and who is in control of it. What happens now is nothing compared to that.

I'm not sure I'm doing this justice, and frankly, it's something that even the devout fail to get. I fail to live like I get it. Paul, in passage after passage kept reminding the early believers of how what they have been given made everything else trivial. How Jesus made all our problems seem to disappear by solving our greatest one. What do we care if life's not going as planned, God in Jesus has secured our fate! The ultimate risk has been averted. Do we really get it? Hardly.

Luke 12:8-9 - I think this is only about sharing our faith, the cold calling stop-someone-in-the-mall sort, in the most tangential way. Rather, it's about our acknowledgement of Jesus as Lord and that is far, far more than inviting folks to church.

Luke 12:13 - Here's proof that we don't get it. After saying how nothing compares to knowing God, this man asks Jesus to help him make sure he gets what is his here and now.

Luke 12:22-34 - There's more in here than pithy wisdom on worry. There's a theme to this entire first half of chapter 12 and that's Jesus attempting to put life in perspective. When we pull this 'don't worry' passage out in isolation, yes it can help us and teach us. But seen in context with not fearing men but fearing God and the rich fool, coveting his wealth, we see Jesus imploring us to look to heaven and to not be focused on the here and now. God knows what we need today, God can take care of us. Even if it seems that He isn't, that which we seem to lack here is incomparable to what He has set aside for us in the future.

We ought to take comfort in Jesus' words in verses 32-34 (ESV):

"Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

It is his good pleasure to give us the kingdom. Us. You and I. Bumbling, shortsighted, self focused,, prideful, clueless, blind us. Yes, He is pleased to give us the kingdom. What a God we serve.

In light of that, what's to worry about?

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