Bible Discussion — Luke 12

March 20, 2008, 12:00 pm; posted by
Filed under Bible, Connie, David, Erin, Josh J, MC-B, Steve  | No Comments

This week, Bweinh.com looks at the next chapter of Luke, Luke 12.

Genesis: 1-4 | 5-9 | 10-14 | 15-18 | 19-22 | 23-26
27-29 | 30-32 | 33-36 | 37-39 | 40-43 | 44-46 | 47-50
Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14 | 15-18
19-22 | 23-26 | 27-30 | 31-34 | 35-40
Romans: Ch. 1 | Ch. 2 | Ch. 3 | Ch. 4 | Ch. 5 | Ch. 6 | Ch. 7 | Ch. 8 (I)
Ch. 8 (II) | Ch. 9 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15-16
Luke: 1:1-38 | 1:39-2:40 | 2:41-3:38 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

 
INTRODUCTION:
Connie:
Luke 12 is a somewhat long discourse covering many of the pitfalls that we face as we walk out the journey of our faith as Christians. It provides encouragement — some of it from common sense, some from warnings of what’s to come.

David:
Luke uses the majority of this chapter to present some of Jesus’ teachings on priorities in a disciple’s life. Who should you fear? The one that can kill you and send you to hell. What should you be thinking about? His Kingdom, because He can take care of our business for us, if we are about his business for Him, and when He returns, He\’s going to be very interested in what we were doing for Him.

Erin:
This chapter is narrow in narration — it is mostly just Jesus talking — but broad in content. Warnings to be watchful, to be frugal, to share, to be peaceable, and not to worry, all vie for the readers attention.

It can be easy to get bogged down in all of these instructions in just the way that Jesus did not intend. The people to whom he spoke were familiar with Jewish legalism, and so this itemizing of ways to “live out the new Covenant” would have made sense to them. What is easy to ignore, however, is that these are simply outward expressions of a life lived with every thought captive to the large purpose of devotion and service to the Kingdom of God.

 
SOMETHING YOU’D NEVER NOTICED BEFORE:
MC-B:
These people are trampling on each other to hear what Jesus has to say. Devotion, selfishness, or both?

Steve:
In the parable about watchfulness, Jesus refers to “one who does not know and does things deserving punishment,” and says that such people will be “beaten with few blows.” What does this mean concerning those who die without hearing the Gospel?

Erin:
Peter asks whether or not the parable Jesus is telling was intended for more than just the 12. Seriously, Peter?

(Herein I show my own Christianese background — I already know Jesus\’ answer, and struggle to put myself in Peter\’s clueless, and very familiar, shoes).

Connie:
One of my favorite scriptures, Matthew 6:33, is also here as 12:31 — “But seek the kingdom of God, and all of these things shall be added to you.”

 
BEST BAND NAME FROM THE PASSAGE:
Josh: Rich Fool
David: Girded Loins
Erin: This Very Night
MC-B: Many Sparrows
Steve: The Ravens; Last Penny

 
STORY IT REMINDS YOU OF::
David:
I saw a comic once where two sparrows were reading the verse, “Ye are of more value than many sparrows,” and one says to the other, “What? Have you read this? Who is Ye?”

Steve:
Jesus’ words on division remind me of the Tozer quote about division and unity. We should cling to important differences, most notably between ourselves and the world.

Josh:
When I was a teenager, our church had a Sunday evening service where the congregation could pick their favorite song to sing. Some songs got picked every week —Victory in Jesus, In the Garden, I Surrender All. One of the semi-regular attendees was a man who came to the feeding program just before service and battled alcoholism. He would always ask for His Eye is on the Sparrow. The only problem was that the song wasn\’t actually in our hymnals, but our organist played it anyway and we\’d sing along as best we could. This man was homeless and mentally diminished; he battled demons I can only imagine and would die in the streets only a few years later. But all he ever wanted was to sing about being happy and free, knowing that God was watching over him.

 
DEEP THEOLOGICAL MEANING:
MC-B:
My favorite part of the Bible is probably Luke 12:22-34, because the truest measure of faith is the ability to throw all your plans into God\’s hands, with the complete confidence that they\’ll be worked out in a way far better than anything that you could achieve.

Erin:
Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes (v.23). Even though it is so explicitly stated, it sure doesn\’t seem reasonable sometimes. But who said that Jesus\’ teachings are based solely on reason? Praise Him, they aren\’t!

David:
A man asked Jesus to get his brother to split an inheritance with him. Dumb move. Jesus spent the next 36 verses trying to get him to understand that the point of our lives can\’t be covetousness. We cannot live for Him and the things of this world. We must be about our Father\’s business, just as Jesus was.

Steve:
Fear not. God is in control of your life.

 
RANDOM THOUGHT:
Josh:
“Do you think I came to bring peace on earth?”

Well, that was how the angels introduced you.

Steve:
It sounds like ancient meteorologists were more effective than ours (vv. 54-56).

David:
One of the people at our Bible Study interpreted “Lesson To Take Away” as “Lesson To Throw Away,” or ignore. They were not fond of that idea until we set them straight.

Erin:
I really like alternative sentence constructions that make readers of the Bible (or at least me, reading the NIV) think about what Jesus is asking. “Who then is the faithful and wise manager whom the master puts in charge?” (v.42) could just have easily been said, “What is the faithful and wise manager like?,” or “How would a faithful and wise manager act?,” in my mental paraphrase.

 
VERSE TO REMEMBER:
Josh:
12:4 — “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.”

MC-B:
12:34 — “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Erin:
12:28 — “If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?”

Connie, Steve:
12:31 — “But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things[c] shall be added to you.”

David and Marcus Moran, a 12-year-old from his Bible study:
12:9 — “But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.”

 
PORTION YOU WOULD MOST LIKE EXPLAINED IN HEAVEN:
Connie:
Verse 49 — Jesus says, “I wish [the earth] were already kindled,” meaning on fire, or destroyed. Was He upset about the cross to come, or just having a bad day, or am I off base here?

Erin:
How can we fully judge for ourselves what is right? (v.57)

MC-B:
The classic “blaspheming the Holy Spirit” question. I\’ve heard a number of theories, but it\’s time the issue gets put to rest.

Josh:
I think the issue of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the one that is most troubling to many believers, since those who commit it will not be forgiven. It\’s troubling that Christ Himself offers no explanation for what constitutes this offense, nor is there any explanation in the rest of Scripture, to my knowledge. I know many have settled on an interpretation that says such blasphemy is the hardening of one\’s heart past the point of caring for forgiveness. My only problem with this is why Christ would even bother to mention it if it was just circular logic.

David:
Verses 47 and 48: how literal is this “stripe” business? Will there actually be punishment meted out to those who are saved? Or are these people lost souls who once were Kingdom servants who knew their Master’s will?

 
LESSON TO TAKE AWAY:
Connie:
Christ is our Advocate, and we have Him available to us today, right now. There are no guarantees past the next few moments.

Josh:
The section about worrying has always been one of my favorites. I can\’t help but think that if Jesus spoke this lesson today, it would have a different tone, since we live in a time of rich fools. Jesus tells us not to worry about how our needs will be met, but we can\’t even tell the difference between wants and needs. The world is still running after all these things, and it can be hard not to get swept up in that.

Some people want to believe they can store up treasures here and in heaven, or that the mark of a true believer is material blessing now. This passage tells us to sell our possessions and give to the poor, to focus on His kingdom — while promising for the time only the most basic of human needs but an inexhaustible treasure in heaven.

Food, shelter, Jesus, heaven. It\’s time to reevaluate what we really need.

Steve:
Jesus says it at the start of the chapter: hypocrisy will be revealed. We see it all around us, in the church and in the world. And so often His words are literally true — what you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight. Better make sure you’ll be okay with that.

David:
I have never heard anyone comment on the degradation of attitude in church leadership addressed in 12:45. God doesn\’t show, so we start taking advantage of the flock and mistreating them. It appears there will be hell to pay, according to Jesus, who “appointed their portion with the unbelievers.”

 
GENERAL RESPONSE TO THE PASSAGE:
MC-B:
Very little is under human control. Trying to build up insurance against uncertainty is like trying to build a sand castle: the castle may persist for a while, but one big wave can take it away instantly. Better to entrust your life to God, whose assurance is eternal.

Steve:
Jesus commands us, weak, frail and doubting as we are, to trust in God above all. Above money, above physical need, above anything and everything we can find on this earth.

 
CONCLUSION:
David:
This is a good chapter on living for God — but the next chapter challenges our ideas about judgment.

Connie:
In the last section of the chapter, Jesus talked about making things right now, while we can. Make the decision about your soul a priority and concern while you have the opportunity, not on Judgment Day when it’s too late.


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