Reading for Tuesday, March 20: Luke 12
Jesus continues to expand our definition of discipleship with His teaching in this chapter. We might outline the chapter this way:
vv1-3: Disciples are authentic (contrasted by the hypocrisy of the Pharisees)
vv4-7: Disciples are fearless (fearing only God, who can cast our souls into hell)
vv8-12: Disciples speak boldly (acknowledging the name of Jesus)
vv13-21: Disciples enjoy spiritual riches (Eph. 1.3, contrasted with material wealth)
vv22-31: Disciples are not anxious (countering worry with faith)
vv32-34: Disciples live generously because their treasure is in heaven
vv35-40: Disciples live in readiness (serving God in anticipation of Christ’s return)
vv41-48: Disciples will be held accountable (“Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required,” v48)
vv49-53: Disciples are committed (even to the point of division within families — discipleship trumps all other commitments)
vv54-56: Disciples demonstrate discernment (knowing how to interpret God’s Kingdom in their midst)
vv57-59: Disciples seek reconciliation (2 Cor. 5)
A few of these verses especially stand out to me:
v2 – “Nothing that is covered up will remain hidden.” A sobering reminder of the judgment that is to come. In the context of Jesus’ discussion, the specific point is about guarding against hypocritical speech.
v8 – Acknowledging Christ before men comes with a promise: Christ will acknowledge us as well. In Luke, Jesus says He will acknowledge us before angels; in Matthew, the promise is even stronger, as Jesus says He will acknowledge us before God the Father.
v15 – “One’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” You are more than your designer jeans and your iPod. Be rich toward God.
v32 – “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” You can put this one on my tombstone. Love it.
v51 – “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” Jesus DOES bring peace (see Luke 2.14; Micah 5.5) but He is also the decisive event in human history. Fred Craddock puts it this way: “The moment of truth Jesus calls us to is akin to the gable of a house. Two raindrops strike the gable and that moment could conclude with their being oceans apart.” This is what Jesus means when He says He brings division.
What stands out to you as you read Luke 12?