New King James Version
Beware of Hypocrisy(A)
12 In (B)the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, (C)“Beware of the [a]leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 (D)For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.
Jesus Teaches the Fear of God(E)
4 (F)“And I say to you, (G)My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, (H)fear Him!
6 “Are not five sparrows sold for two [b]copper coins? And (I)not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Confess Christ Before Men(J)
8 (K)“Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me (L)before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. 9 But he who (M)denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.
10 “And (N)anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.
11 (O)“Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. 12 For the Holy Spirit will (P)teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
The Parable of the Rich Fool
13 Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 But He said to him, (Q)“Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” 15 And He said to them, (R)“Take heed and beware of [c]covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, (S)“Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; (T)eat, drink, and be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night (U)your soul will be required of you; (V)then whose will those things be which you have provided?’
21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, (W)and is not rich toward God.”
Do Not Worry(X)
22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, (Y)do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and (Z)God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 26 If you then are not able to do the least, why [d]are you anxious for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even (AA)Solomon in all his glory was not [e]arrayed like one of these. 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 (AB)little faith?
29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father (AC)knows that you need these things. 31 (AD)But seek [f]the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.
32 “Do not fear, little flock, for (AE)it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 (AF)Sell what you have and give (AG)alms; (AH)provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The Faithful Servant and the Evil Servant(AI)
35 (AJ)“Let your waist be girded and (AK)your lamps burning; 36 and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. 37 (AL)Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. 38 And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39 (AM)But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would [g]have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 40 (AN)Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
41 Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?”
42 And the Lord said, (AO)“Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food [h]in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 (AP)Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. 45 (AQ)But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a (AR)day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And (AS)that servant who (AT)knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 (AU)But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
Christ Brings Division(AV)
49 (AW)“I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But (AX)I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is (AY)accomplished! 51 (AZ)Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, (BA)but rather division. 52 (BB)For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. 53 (BC)Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
Discern the Time(BD)
54 Then He also said to the multitudes, (BE)“Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is. 55 And when you see the (BF)south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is. 56 Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern (BG)this time?
Make Peace with Your Adversary
57 “Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right? 58 (BH)When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort (BI)along the way to settle with him, lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite.”
God Knows and Cares
12 In the meantime, after so many thousands of the people had gathered that they were stepping on one another, Jesus began speaking first of all to His disciples, “Be continually on your guard against the [a]leaven of the Pharisees [that is, their pervasive, corrupting influence and teaching], which is hypocrisy [producing self-righteousness]. 2 But there is nothing [so carefully] concealed that it will not be revealed, nor so hidden that it will not be made known.(A) 3 For that reason, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops.
4 “I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5 But I will point out to you whom you should fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority and power to hurl [you] into [b]hell; yes, I say to you, [stand in great awe of God and] fear Him! 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two [c]copper coins? Yet not one of them has [ever] been forgotten in the presence of God. 7 Indeed the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are far more valuable than many sparrows.
8 “I say to you, whoever declares openly and confesses Me before men [speaking freely of Me as his Lord], the Son of Man also will declare openly and confess him [as one of His own] before the angels of God. 9 But he who denies Me before men will be denied in the presence of the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who [d]blasphemes against the Holy Spirit [that is, whoever intentionally discredits the Holy Spirit by attributing the authenticating miracles done by Me to Satan], it will not be forgiven him [for him there is no forgiveness].(B) 11 When they bring you before the synagogues and the magistrates and the authorities, do not be worried about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
13 Someone from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 14 But He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or an arbitrator over [the two of] you?” 15 Then He said to them, “Watch out and guard yourselves against every form of greed; for not even when one has an overflowing abundance does his life consist of nor is it derived from his possessions.”
Parable of the Wealthy Fool
16 Then He told them a parable, saying, “There was a rich man whose land was very fertile and productive. 17 And he began thinking to himself, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place [large enough in which] to store my crops?’ 18 Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my storehouses and build larger ones, and I will store all my grain and my goods there. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many good things stored up, [enough] for many years; rest and relax, eat, drink and be merry (celebrate continually).”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own all the things you have prepared?’(C) 21 So it is for the one who continues to store up and hoard possessions for himself, and is not rich [in his relationship] toward God.”
22 Jesus said to His disciples, “For this reason I tell you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; or about your body, as to what you will wear.(D) 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the crop]; they have no storehouse or barn, and yet God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by worrying can add one hour to his life’s span? 26 So if you are not even able to do a very little thing [such as that], why are you worried about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies and wildflowers, how they grow [in the open field]. They neither labor nor spin [wool to make clothing]; yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these.(E) 28 But if this is how God clothes the grass which is in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You of little faith! 29 So as for you, do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink; nor have an anxious and unsettled mind. 30 For all the [pagan] nations of the world greedily seek these things; and your [heavenly] Father [already] knows that you need them. 31 But [strive for and actively] seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 32 Do not be afraid and anxious, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
33 “Sell your possessions (show compassion) and give [donations] to the poor. Provide money belts for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing and inexhaustible treasure in the heavens, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Be in Readiness
35 “Be dressed and ready for active service, and keep your lamps continuously burning. 36 Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that when he comes and knocks they may immediately open the door for him. 37 Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) are those servants whom the master finds awake and watching when he arrives. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, he will prepare himself to serve, and will have them recline at the table, and will come and wait on them. 38 Whether he comes in the second watch (before midnight), or even in the third (after midnight), and finds them so [prepared and ready], blessed are those servants.
39 “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time the thief was coming, he [would have been awake and alert, and] would not have allowed his house to be broken into.(F) 40 You too, be continually ready; because the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.”
41 Peter said, “Lord, are You addressing this parable to us [disciples], or to everyone else as well?”
Parable of the Faithful Steward
42 The Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise steward [of the estate], whom his master will put in charge over his household, to give his servants their portion of food at the proper time?(G) 43 Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) is that servant whom his master finds so doing when he arrives. 44 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is taking his time in coming,’ and begins to beat the servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will [e]cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and yet did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will be beaten with many lashes [of the whip], 48 but the one who did not know it and did things worthy of a beating, will receive only a few [lashes]. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.(H)
Christ Divides Men
49 “I have come to cast fire (judgment) on the earth; and how I wish that it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism [of great suffering] with which to be baptized, and how [greatly] I am distressed until it is accomplished! 51 Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division [between believers and unbelievers];(I) 52 for from now on five in one household will be divided [over Me], three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”(J)
54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘It is going to rain,’ and that is how it turns out. 55 And when [you see that] a south wind is blowing, you say, ‘It will be a hot day,’ and it happens. 56 You hypocrites (play-actors, pretenders)! You know how to analyze and intelligently interpret the appearance of the earth and sky [to forecast the weather], but why do you not intelligently interpret this present time?
57 “And why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right? 58 For while you are going with your opponent [at law] to appear before a magistrate, on the way make an effort to settle, so that he does not drag you before the judge, and the judge does not [rule against you and] turn you over to the officer, and the officer does not throw you into prison.(K) 59 I say to you, you [absolutely] will not get out of there until you have paid the very last [f]cent.”
- Luke 12:1 A substance such as yeast that consists mostly of fungi. This analogy relates the impurity of a leavening agent to the impurity of the man-made tradition and hypocrisy of the Pharisees that was preventing the nation of Israel from accepting the Messiah.
- Luke 12:5 See note Matt 5:22.
- Luke 12:6 Gr assarion, a Roman coin equal to a 16th of a denarius (the denarius was counted as a day’s wages for an unskilled worker).
- Luke 12:10 Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit involves treating the Holy Spirit irreverently by denying the power and work of the Holy Spirit. This leads ultimately to rejecting the deity of Christ.
- Luke 12:46 This may be a hyperbole for severe punishment short of execution.
- Luke 12:59 Gr lepton, 1/128 of a laborer’s daily wages.