Passage: Luke 12
v1-12 - Luke notes an interesting fact to begin this chapter: many thousands of people had gathered to see Jesus, but yet Jesus' focus was on His disciples. It will become clear that the crowd's not interested in what Jesus teaches; it wasn't then and isn't now. In this opening section, Jesus gives several significant warnings: nothing you say or do is ever truly hidden (v2-3); don't be afraid of those who only can kill your body, but be afraid of the one with authority to throw you into hell (v5), and that anybody who rejects the Holy Spirit can not be forgiven (v10).
v13-21 - The crowd's not interested in what Jesus is saying, as evidenced by the man who interrupts Jesus trying to manipulate Him into taking the man's side in some petty dispute. Jesus responds with a massive lesson on the futility of being focused on material things.
v22-34 - Jesus counters His illustration of the emptiness of greed with a beautiful teaching on how you can replace the pervasive worrying that plagues all people with an implicit trust in the goodness and providence of God. I like the way that Jesus summarizes this section in v32. Although He's surrounded by thousands of people who all want something different, Jesus says to His disciples (v22), "Fear not, little flock..." Keep your focus on the Kingdom of God, not the things of this world.
v35-48 - Jesus presents two parables about servants who must always be ready and aligned with their master's plans, even when the plans are hard to understand. Again, remember the context: there are thousands of people gathered, and Jesus is speaking in a way that they can all hear, but Jesus isn't talking to them, He's talking to His disciples (to you!). Peter is confused by this arrangement in v41. Jesus doesn't answer Peter's question directly, but He responds in v48 by reminding us that to those of us who God has given much, much will be demanded.
v49-53 - For most of our lives, our Christian belief has not caused hostility in our families or communities. Perhaps we're coming into a time where Christianity will not cause peace, but division (v51). Be ready to stand strong for your Master even as society falsely blames you for being divisive.
v54-59 - One of the best things about living in Southern Minnesota is watching these summer storms form and move in. Maybe you're like me and have at least one or two weather radar apps and you've learned to read the sky. Think about Jesus' challenge in v56. How can you interpret the 'times' like you interpret the weather?
Old Testament Reference -
Job 27 - This is Job's final word to his friends. Verses 17-23 illustrates what will happen to those who are focused on material wealth.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions.
Would you say the man in verses 16–19 was someone who enjoyed inner peace? Why or why not?
Jesus tells us in verse 22 to not worry about life. In the verses that follow, what valid reasons can you find for not worrying?
Questions taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God who rules over creation in such a way the wildflowers have more splendor than Solomon (v27)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will "Be dressed and ready for service and keep your lamps burning" (v35) as you anticipate Christ's return.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: