Luke 12.1-59 deals with the attitude believers should have in regard to persecution, material possessions, and eschatology and Yeshua’s return.
v 1…In the meantime (while he was dealing with the scribes and the Pharisees from Beit Shammai), when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people that they were stepping on one another, he began saying to his talmidim first (directly, first in order, “Beware (take heed) of the leaven (teaching and their lifestyle which was an outward show of religion) of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy (leaven starts out small and unseen at first, but in time it will infect everything).
v 2…But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known (a parallelism-what they have studied with Yeshua will be revealed to others).
v 3…Accordingly whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms shall be proclaimed from the rooftops (held accountable for; what Yeshua has taught publicly will be published openly).
v 4…And I say to you, my friends (chaverim-distinguishing them from their hostile enemies), do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do (to the soul, spirit, heart-the power of the enemy is limited to this life, and that is only what Yehovah will allow).
v 5…But I will warn you whom to fear; fear the one (Yehovah) who after he has killed (the body) has the authority to cast into hell (Gehenna); Yes, I tell you, fear him (Deut 32.39; Isa 45.7; Ecc 7.14, 12.14)!
v 6…Are not five sparrows sold for two cents (seen as of little value to me)? And yet not one of them is forgotten by God (He cares for his creation).
v 7…Indeed the very hairs of your head are all numbered (not only are our days numbered and our purpose on earth, but even more minute aspects of our lives are known). Do not fear, you are more valuable than many sparrows.
v 8…And I say to you, everyone who confesses me (acknowledges and defends me) before men, the son of Man (Bar Enosh of Dan 7.13 and an eschatological title) confess (acknowledge and defend) him also before the angels of God (as belonging to him, redeemed and chosen);
v 9…But he who denies me before men shall be denied before the angels of God (as belonging to him).
v 10…And everyone who will speak a word against the son of Man (Bar Enosh of Dan 7.13), it shall be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes (blasphemy is calling something unholy, when it isn’t; or calling something holy when it isn’t; some did this with Yeshua and said certain miracles were the work of Ha Satan, etc) against the Holy Spirit (Ruach Ha Kodesh), it shall not be forgiven him.
v 11…And when (not “if”-it is a certainty) they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and authorities (which the book of Acts is full of), do not become anxious about how or what you should speak in your defense, or what you should say (to your accusers-Stephen wasn’t, Peter wasn’t, John wasn’t, Paul wasn’t, Barnabas wasn’t, etc);
v 12…for the Holy Spirit (Ruach Ha Kodesh- he has a kedusha) will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say (whether it will be to honor Yeshua, defend the Basar or confuse the enemy; this is not a promise to the lazy student or teacher-2 Tim 2.15 and 3.16-17).”
v 13…And someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me (without delay, or litigation in court; when two brothers were involved, two-thirds went to the eldest and a third to the youngest-Deut 21.17. The elder was the “priest” of the family and was to help his family from what he inherited).”
v 14…But he said to him, “Man, who appointed me a judge or arbiter over you (he wasn’t a civil ruler…yet)?”
v 15…And he said to them (taking the opportunity to address covetousness), “Beware (take heed) and be on your guard against every form of greed, for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of possessions (man’s natural life cannot be prolonged by all the good things of the world).”
v 16…And he told them a parable (midrashic aggadah), “The land of a certain rich man was very productive.
v 17…And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops (no room for more; notice the pronouns used in v 17-19 like (I, my, I, I, my, I, my, my, I, my).
v 18…And he said (without consulting Yehovah-Jam 4.15), ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barn and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods (he didn’t even think about giving some of what he was hoarding to the poor, widows or orphans).
v 19…And will say to my soul (himself), “Soul (me), you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease (don’t worry now), eat, drink and be merry (as he pleases).’
v 20…But God said to him, ‘You fool (senseless, stupid), this night your soul (himself) is required of you; and who will own what you have prepared?
v 21…So is the man who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich towards God (eternal life; it is vanity to hoard property and riches while not caring about the consequences of a life without God-Matt 6.19).”
v 22…And he said to the talmidim, “For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on.
v 23…For life (physically) is more than food, and the body than clothing (God gives us life and breath, he will provide food and clothing also).
v 24…Consider the ravens (Job 38.41), for they neither sow nor reap; and they have no storeroom or barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds (spiritually, intellectually, morally)!
v 25…And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life’s span (you won’t die before your appointed time-Psa 139.16; Job 7.1)?
v 26…If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why are you anxious about other matters?
v 27…Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil or spin (their clothing, what they wear-Matt 6.28); but I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself as one of these (theirs was real, Solomon covering was artificial and an imitation).
v 28…But if God so arrays (clothes) the grass in the field, which is today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more you, O men of little faith (emunah-will he not be even more careful to clothe you)!
v 29…And do not seek (chase, pursue) what you shall eat, and what you shall drink, and do not keep worrying (doubtful, off balance, mentally uncertain).
v 30…For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things (he will provide if you seek him and his will as a priority).
v 31…But seek for his kingdom (his rule and movement), and these things will be added to you (to meet your needs as you carry out his will in obeying his word).
v 32…Do not be afraid, little flock (those in the kingdom-big numbers don’t always signal success or God’s blessings-John 10.16), for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom (according to his sovereignty and will-John 1.13; Eph 1.4).
v 33…Seek your possessions and give to charity (since we have a kingdom, we shouldn’t be anxious about physical things like food, clothes, houses, lands and worldly possessions); make yourselves purses which do not wear out (decay), an unfailing treasure in heaven (rather than on earth), where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys.
v 34…For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (your priorities will be known).
v 35…Be blessed in readiness (girded in service to God in labor or battle-2 Tim 2.4; Eph 6.12-17), and your lamps a light (your Torah-based testimony in Yeshua-Rev 12.17).
v 36…And be like men (believers/servants) who are waiting (serving) their master when he returns from the wedding (after the birth-pains eschatologically) so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks (to give an accounting).
v 37…Blessed (empowered to succeed) are those servants whom the master shall find on the alert when he comes, truly I say to you that he will gird himself to serve and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them (all of their spiritual needs as promised-Matt 8.11; Rev 3.20-21; Jam 2.5; Matt 24.45, 21; 2 Tim 4.7-8; 1 Pet 5.1-4; Isa 25.6-8-all Sukkot themes).
v 38…Whether he comes in the second watch (9-12 midnight), or in the third (midnight to 3 am), and finds them so, blessed are those servants (alert and watching).
v 39…And be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into (now Yeshua’s coming is switched to the comparison of a night thief or “kleptes” where we get the word “kleptomaniac”-coming suddenly is the meaning).
v 40…You too, be ready (on the alert); for the son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect (or least anticipate).”
v 41…And Peter said, “Lord, are you addressing this parable to us, or to everyone as well (Yeshua will now explain that the lord of the household gives directions to all who belong to his house, not to those of another house)?”
v 42…And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and sensible steward (who is he? He is the one who is given a specific responsibility to over see the estate of another), whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time (the steward gives the household their allotment; and alludes to the portion of the word of God and the true interpretation of it given to God’s servants)?”
v 43…Blessed is that servant whom his master finds doing (the Torah) when he comes (rewards are proportionate to faithfulness-Luke 19.17-26).
v 44…Truly (I say to you, that he will put him in charge of all his possessions (like Pharaoh did with Joseph).
v 45…But if that servant says in his heart (an evil servant), ‘My master will be a long time in coming,’ and he begins to beat the servants, men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk (apostates and mere professors of religion can be some of the most cruel persecutors of the righteous);
v 46…the master of the slave will come on a day when he does not expect (he isn’t looking), and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him to pieces (cut him loose from his portion), and assign him a place with the unbelievers (Lake of Fire, the second death-Rev 21.8).
v 47…And that servant who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will (he knew to obey the Torah-John 17.17), shall receive many lashes (Jam 4.17),
v 48…but the one who did not know (to obey the Torah because he was never told because they were in a replacement theology assembly who taught the Torah had been done away with), and committed deeds worthy of a flogging (though he was ignorant of the truth does not give him freedom from his sin) will receive but few (limited punishment because of ignorance). And from everyone who has been given much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much of him they will ask all the more.
v 49…I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled!
v 50…But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished (these verses are pure Hebraic poetry called a parallelism; Yeshua recoils at the thought of judgment, but it had already begun and Yeshua had set the earth on fire, a baptism of fire or judgment-Matt 3.11. Yeshua’s original meaning here is quoted from the book called “Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus” by David Bivin and Roy Blizzard, p. 98, where it says: “My task” Jesus said, “is to set the earth on fire. That I am doing. The earth is burning. I have already begun to sow the seeds of judgment, and one day there will be a final judgment. But I do not look forward to that Day of Judgment, that final moment-the moment of my return- when men will no longer have a chance to accept me as Lod. How could I wish for that? I am required to baptize the earth, to judge the world. That is the task I have been given by my Father. But in the meantime, until judgment is complete, how difficult it is for me! How I agonize as some men decide to become my disciples, and others decide to reject my messianic claims.” For additional information on this passage see the complete explanation found on p.87-103).
v 51…Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on the earth? I tell you, no, but rather division;
v 52…for from now on, five in one household will be divided three against two, and two against three.
v 53…They will be divided, father against son, and son against father, mother against daughter, and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against mother-in-law (the allegory in v 49-50 are understandable now because of v 51-53. Yeshua is the sign and is causing division, contention and discord between those who accept his messianic claims and those who don’t; people will have to decide-Luke 2.34-35; John 12.31-true conversion will bring conflict, even among family members).”
v 54…And he was also saying to the multitudes, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it turns out.
v 55…And when you see a south wind blowing, you say, ‘It will be a hot day’, and it turns out (that way).
v 56…You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time (of fulfilled messianic prophecies predicted in the Scriptures-Luke 24.27; Acts 26.22-23)?
v 57…And why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right (you have seen prophecy fulfilled, why don’t you in like manner know that this is the time for the Messiah)?
v 58…When you go with your opponent to appear before the magistrate (to file charges because you won’t pay a just debt you owe), on your way make an effort to settle with him in order that he may not drag you before the judge, and the judge turns you over to the constable, and the constable throws you in prison.
v 59…I say to you, you shall not get out of there until you have paid the very last cent (this teaches that one should reconcile with God before the hour of judgment; accept Yeshua as the Messiah according to all the signs given you by the Scriptures before it’s too late. But Israel would not acknowledge their inability to pay the debt to the judge, who is Yehovah. It was beyond their ability to pay by doing works-Rom 9.31, 10.1-3).
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