Luke 12 New Testament for Everyone (NTE)
12 Crowds were gathering in their thousands, so much so that they were trampling on each other. Jesus began to say to his disciples, ‘Watch out for the leaven of the Pharisees – I mean, their hypocrisy. This is a matter of first importance.
2 ‘Nothing is concealed that won’t be uncovered; nothing is hidden that won’t be made known. 3 So whatever you say in the darkness will be heard in the light, and whatever you speak indoors into someone’s ear will be proclaimed from the housetops.
4 ‘So, my friends, I have this to say to you: don’t be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more they can do. 5 I will show you who to fear: fear the one who starts by killing and then has the right to throw people into Gehenna. Yes, let me tell you, that’s the one to fear!
6 ‘How much do five sparrows cost? Two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten in God’s presence. 7 But the hairs of your head have all been counted. Don’t be afraid! You are worth more than lots of sparrows.
8 ‘Let me tell you: if anyone acknowledges me before others, the son of man will acknowledge that person before God’s angels. 9 But if anyone denies me before others, that person will be denied before God’s angels.
10 ‘Everyone who speaks a word against the son of man will have it forgiven; but the one who blasphemes against the holy spirit will not be forgiven.
11 ‘When they bring you before synagogues, rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to give an answer or what to say. 12 The holy spirit will teach you what to say at that very moment.’
The Parable of the Rich Fool
13 Someone from the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me!’
14 ‘Tell me, my good man,’ replied Jesus, ‘who appointed me as a judge or arbitrator over you?
15 ‘Watch out,’ he said to them, ‘and beware of all greed! Your life doesn’t consist of the sum total of your possessions.’
16 He told them a parable. ‘There was a rich man whose land produced a fine harvest. 17 “What shall I do?” he said to himself. “I don’t have enough room to store my crops!
18 ‘ “I know!” he said. “I’ll pull down my barns – and I’ll build bigger ones! Then I’ll be able to store all the corn and all my belongings there. 19 And I shall say to my soul, Soul, you’ve got many good things stored up for many years. Take it easy! Eat, drink, have a good time!”
20 ‘But God said to him, “Fool! This very night your soul will be demanded of you! Now who’s going to have all the things you’ve got ready?” 21 That’s how it is with someone who stores up things for himself and isn’t rich before God.
22 ‘So let me tell you this,’ he said to the disciples. ‘Don’t be anxious about your life – what you should eat; or about your body – what you should wear. 23 Life is more than food! The body is more than clothing! 24 Think about the ravens: they don’t sow seed, they don’t gather harvests, they don’t have storehouses or barns; and God feeds them. How much more will he feed you! Think of the difference between yourselves and the birds!
25 ‘Which of you by being anxious can add a day to your lifetime? 26 So if you can’t even do a little thing like that, why worry about anything else? 27 Think about the lilies and the way they grow. They don’t work hard, they don’t weave cloth; but, let me tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory was dressed up like one of them. 28 So if that’s how God clothes the grass in the field – here today, into the fire tomorrow – how much more will he clothe you, you little-faith lot!
29 ‘So don’t you go hunting about for what to eat or what to drink, and don’t be anxious. 30 The nations of the world go searching for all that stuff, and your father knows you need it. 31 This is what you should search for: God’s kingdom! Then all the rest will be given you as well. 32 Don’t be afraid, little flock. Your father is delighted to give you the kingdom.
33 ‘Sell your possessions and give alms. Make yourselves purses that don’t wear out, a treasure in heaven that lasts for ever, where the thief doesn’t come near and the moth doesn’t destroy. 34 Yes: where your treasure is, there your heart will be too.’
Jesus’ Call to Watchfulness
35 ‘Make sure you’re dressed and ready with your lamps alight,’ said Jesus. 36 ‘You need to be like people waiting for their master when he comes back from the wedding-feast, so that when he comes and knocks they will be able to open the door for him at once. 37 A blessing on the servants whom the master finds awake when he comes! I’m telling you the truth: he will put on an apron and sit them down and come and wait on them. 38 A blessing on them if he comes in the second watch of the night, or even the third, and finds them like that!
39 ‘But you should know this: if the householder had known what time the thief was coming, he wouldn’t have let his house be broken into. 40 You too should be ready, because the son of man is coming at a time you don’t expect.’
41 ‘Master,’ said Peter, ‘are you telling this parable for us, or for everyone?’
42 ‘Who then is the faithful and wise servant,’ said Jesus, ‘whom the master will set over all his household, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? 43 A blessing on the servant that his master, when he comes, finds doing just that! 44 I’m telling you truly, he will install him as manager over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says in his heart, “My master is taking his time over coming back,” and begins to beat the slaves and slave-girls, to eat and drink and get drunk – 46 then the master of that servant will come on a day he doesn’t expect him to, and at a moment he didn’t imagine, and he will cut him in two. He will give him the same place as the unbelievers.
47 ‘If a servant knew what the master wanted, and didn’t get ready, or do what was wanted, the punishment will be a severe beating. 48 If the servant didn’t know, and did what deserved a beating, it will be a light beating. Much will be required from one who is given much; if someone is entrusted with much, even more will be expected in return.’
Reading the Signs of the Times
49 ‘I came to throw fire upon the earth,’ Jesus continued, ‘and I wish it were already alight! 50 I have a baptism to be baptized with, and I am under huge pressure until it’s happened!
51 ‘Do you suppose I’ve come to give peace to the earth? No, let me tell you, but rather division. 52 From now on, you see, families will be split down the middle: three against two in a family of five, and two against three, 53 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.
54 ‘When you see a cloud rising in the west,’ he said to the crowds, ‘you say at once, “It’s going to rain,” and rain it does. 55 When you see the south wind getting up, you say, “It’s going to be very hot,” and that’s what happens. 56 You impostors! You know how to work out what the earth and the sky are telling you; why can’t you work out what’s going on at this very moment?
57 ‘Why don’t you judge for yourselves what you ought to do? 58 When you go with your accuser before a magistrate, do your best to reach a settlement with him. Otherwise he may drag you in front of the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the officer, and the officer will throw you into jail. 59 Let me tell you, you won’t get out from there until you have paid the last coin.’
Luke 12 New International Version (NIV)
Warnings and Encouragements
12 Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be[a] on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
8 “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. 9 But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
11 “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
The Parable of the Rich Fool
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
Do Not Worry
22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[b]? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”
42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other 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 is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
Not Peace but Division
49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, 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.”
Interpreting the Times
54 He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. 55 And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. 56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?
57 “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”