Luke 12 Good News Translation (GNT)
A Warning against Hypocrisy
12 As thousands of people crowded together, so that they were stepping on each other, Jesus said first to his disciples, “Be on guard against the yeast of the Pharisees—I mean their hypocrisy. 2 Whatever is covered up will be uncovered, and every secret will be made known. 3 So then, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in broad daylight, and whatever you have whispered in private in a closed room will be shouted from the housetops.
Whom to Fear
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot afterward do anything worse. 5 I will show you whom to fear: fear God, who, after killing, has the authority to throw into hell. Believe me, he is the one you must fear!
6 “Aren't five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one sparrow is forgotten by God. 7 Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth much more than many sparrows!
Confessing and Rejecting Christ
8 “I assure you that those who declare publicly that they belong to me, the Son of Man will do the same for them before the angels of God. 9 But those who reject me publicly, the Son of Man will also reject them before the angels of God.
10 “Whoever says a word against the Son of Man can be forgiven; but whoever says evil things against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
11 “When they bring you to be tried in the synagogues or before governors or rulers, do not be worried about how you will defend yourself 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 A man in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide with me the property our father left us.”
14 Jesus answered him, “Friend, who gave me the right to judge or to divide the property between you two?” 15 And he went on to say to them all, “Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because your true life is not made up of the things you own, no matter how rich you may be.”
16 Then Jesus told them this parable: “There was once a rich man who had land which bore good crops. 17 He began to think to himself, ‘I don't have a place to keep all my crops. What can I do? 18 This is what I will do,’ he told himself; ‘I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, where I will store the grain and all my other goods. 19 Then I will say to myself, Lucky man! You have all the good things you need for many years. Take life easy, eat, drink, and enjoy yourself!’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night you will have to give up your life; then who will get all these things you have kept for yourself?’”
21 And Jesus concluded, “This is how it is with those who pile up riches for themselves but are not rich in God's sight.”
Trust in God
22 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “And so I tell you not to worry about the food you need to stay alive or about the clothes you need for your body. 23 Life is much more important than food, and the body much more important than clothes. 24 Look at the crows: they don't plant seeds or gather a harvest; they don't have storage rooms or barns; God feeds them! You are worth so much more than birds! 25 Can any of you live a bit longer[a] by worrying about it? 26 If you can't manage even such a small thing, why worry about the other things? 27 Look how the wild flowers grow: they don't work or make clothes for themselves. But I tell you that not even King Solomon with all his wealth had clothes as beautiful as one of these flowers. 28 It is God who clothes the wild grass—grass that is here today and gone tomorrow, burned up in the oven. Won't he be all the more sure to clothe you? What little faith you have!
29 “So don't be all upset, always concerned about what you will eat and drink. 30 (For the pagans of this world are always concerned about all these things.) Your Father knows that you need these things. 31 Instead, be concerned with his Kingdom, and he will provide you with these things.
Riches in Heaven
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the Kingdom. 33 Sell all your belongings and give the money to the poor. Provide for yourselves purses that don't wear out, and save your riches in heaven, where they will never decrease, because no thief can get to them, and no moth can destroy them. 34 For your heart will always be where your riches are.
35 “Be ready for whatever comes, dressed for action and with your lamps lit, 36 like servants who are waiting for their master to come back from a wedding feast. When he comes and knocks, they will open the door for him at once. 37 How happy are those servants whose master finds them awake and ready when he returns! I tell you, he will take off his coat, have them sit down, and will wait on them. 38 How happy they are if he finds them ready, even if he should come at midnight or even later! 39 And you can be sure that if the owner of a house knew the time when the thief would come, he would not let the thief break into his house. 40 And you, too, must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you are not expecting him.”
The Faithful or the Unfaithful Servant
41 Peter said, “Lord, does this parable apply to us, or do you mean it for everyone?”
42 The Lord answered, “Who, then, is the faithful and wise servant? He is the one that his master will put in charge, to run the household and give the other servants their share of the food at the proper time. 43 How happy that servant is if his master finds him doing this when he comes home! 44 Indeed, I tell you, the master will put that servant in charge of all his property. 45 But if that servant says to himself that his master is taking a long time to come back and if he begins to beat the other servants, both the men and the women, and eats and drinks and gets drunk, 46 then the master will come back one day when the servant does not expect him and at a time he does not know. The master will cut him in pieces[b] and make him share the fate of the disobedient.
47 “The servant who knows what his master wants him to do, but does not get himself ready and do it, will be punished with a heavy whipping. 48 But the servant who does not know what his master wants, and yet does something for which he deserves a whipping, will be punished with a light whipping. Much is required from the person to whom much is given; much more is required from the person to whom much more is given.
Jesus the Cause of Division
49 “I came to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism to receive, and how distressed I am until it is over! 51 Do you suppose that I came to bring peace to the world? No, not peace, but division. 52 From now on a family of five will be divided, three against two and two against three. 53 Fathers will be against their sons, and sons against their fathers; mothers will be against their daughters, and daughters against their mothers; mothers-in-law will be against their daughters-in-law, and daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law.”
Understanding the Time
54 Jesus said also to the people, “When you see a cloud coming up in the west, at once you say that it is going to rain—and it does. 55 And when you feel the south wind blowing, you say that it is going to get hot—and it does. 56 Hypocrites! You can look at the earth and the sky and predict the weather; why, then, don't you know the meaning of this present time?
Settle with Your Opponent
57 “Why do you not judge for yourselves the right thing to do? 58 If someone brings a lawsuit against you and takes you to court, do your best to settle the dispute before you get to court. If you don't, you will be dragged before the judge, who will hand you over to the police, and you will be put in jail. 59 There you will stay, I tell you, until you pay the last penny of your fine.”
Luke 12 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
A Warning against Hypocrisy
12 Meanwhile, when the crowd gathered by the thousands, so that they trampled on one another, he began to speak first to his disciples, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, that is, their hypocrisy. 2 Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 3 Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed from the housetops.
Exhortation to Fearless Confession
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority[a] to cast into hell.[b] Yes, I tell you, fear him! 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. 7 But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
8 “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; 9 but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11 When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how[c] you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say.”
The Parable of the Rich Fool
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” 16 Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. 17 And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ 18 Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”
Do Not Worry
22 He 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 clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?[d] 26 If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;[e] yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. 30 For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, strive for his[f] kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
35 “Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; 36 be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
39 “But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he[g] would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”
The Faithful or the Unfaithful Slave
41 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?” 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and prudent manager whom his master will put in charge of his slaves, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. 45 But if that slave says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and if he begins to beat the other slaves, men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in pieces,[h] and put him with the unfaithful. 47 That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.
Jesus the Cause of Division
49 “I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! 52 From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; 53 they will be divided:
father against son
Interpreting the Time
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 so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
Settling with Your Opponent
57 “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? 58 Thus, when you go with your accuser before a magistrate, on the way make an effort to settle the case,[i] or you may be dragged before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer throw you in prison. 59 I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny.”
Luke 12 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
12 Meanwhile, as a crowd in the tens of thousands gathered so closely as to trample each other down, Yeshua began to say to his talmidim first, “Guard yourselves from the hametz of the P’rushim, by which I mean their hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing covered up that will not be uncovered, or hidden that will not become known. 3 What you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops.
4 “My friends, I tell you: don’t fear those who kill the body but then have nothing more they can do. 5 I will show you whom to fear: fear him who after killing you has authority to throw you into Gei-Hinnom! Yes, I tell you, this is the one to fear! 6 Aren’t sparrows sold for next to nothing, five for two assarions? And not one of them has been forgotten by God. 7 Why, every hair on your head has been counted! Don’t be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows.
8 “Moreover, I tell you, whoever acknowledges me in the presence of others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge in the presence of God’s angels. 9 But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before God’s angels. 10 Also, everyone who says something against the Son of Man will have it forgiven him; but whoever has blasphemed the Ruach HaKodesh will not be forgiven.
11 “When they bring you before the synagogues and the ruling powers and the authorities, don’t worry about how you will defend yourself or what you will say; 12 because when the time comes, the Ruach HaKodesh will teach you what you need to say.”
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Rabbi, tell my brother to share with me the property we inherited.” 14 But Yeshua answered him, “My friend, who appointed me judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 Then to the people he said, “Be careful to guard against all forms of greed, because even if someone is rich, his life does not consist in what he owns.” 16 And he gave them this illustration: “There was a man whose land was very productive. 17 He debated with himself, ‘What should I do? I haven’t enough room for all my crops.’ 18 Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and I’ll store all my wheat and other goods there. 19 Then I’ll say to myself, “You’re a lucky man! You have a big supply of goods laid up that will last many years. Start taking it easy! Eat! Drink! Enjoy yourself!”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night you will die! And the things you prepared — whose will they be?’ 21 That’s how it is with anyone who stores up wealth for himself without being rich toward God.”
22 To his talmidim Yeshua said, “Because of this I tell you, don’t worry about your life — what you will eat or drink; or about your body — what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Think about the ravens! They neither plant nor harvest, they have neither storerooms nor barns, yet God feeds them. You are worth much more than the birds! 25 Can any of you by worrying add an hour to his life? 26 If you can’t do a little thing like that, why worry about the rest? 27 Think about the wild irises, and how they grow. They neither work nor spin thread; yet, I tell you, not even Shlomo in all his glory was clothed as beautifully as one of these. 28 If this is how God clothes grass, which is alive in the field today and thrown in the oven tomorrow, how much more will he clothe you! What little trust you have!
29 “In other words, don’t strive after what you will eat and what you will drink — don’t be anxious. 30 For all the pagan nations in the world set their hearts on these things. Your Father knows that you need them too. 31 Rather, seek his Kingdom; and these things will be given to you as well. 32 Have no fear, little flock, for your Father has resolved to give you the Kingdom! 33 Sell what you own and do tzedakah — make for yourselves purses that don’t wear out, riches in heaven that never fail, where no burglar comes near, where no moth destroys. 34 For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also.
35 “Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit, 36 like people waiting for their master’s return after a wedding feast; so that when he comes and knocks, they will open the door for him without delay. 37 Happy the slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes! Yes! I tell you he will put on his work clothes, seat them at the table, and come serve them himself! 38 Whether it is late at night or early in the morning, if this is how he finds them, those slaves are happy.
39 “But notice this: no house-owner would let his house be broken into if he knew when the thief was coming. 40 You too, be ready! For the Son of Man will come when you are not expecting him.”
41 Kefa said, “Sir, are you telling this parable for our benefit only or for everyone’s?” 42 The Lord replied, “Nu, who is the faithful and sensible manager whose master puts him in charge of the household staff to give them their share of food at the proper time? 43 It will go well with that servant if he is found doing his job when his master comes. 44 Yes, I tell you he will put him in charge of all he owns. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking his time coming,’ and starts bullying the men- and women-servants, and eating and drinking, getting drunk, 46 then his master will come on a day when the servant isn’t expecting him, at a time he doesn’t know in advance; his master will cut him in two and put him with the disloyal. 47 Now the servant who knew what his master wanted but didn’t prepare or act according to his will, will be whipped with many lashes; 48 however, the one who did what deserves a beating, but didn’t know, will receive few lashes. From him who has been given much, much will be demanded — from someone to whom people entrust much, they ask still more.
49 “I have come to set fire to the earth! And how I wish it were already kindled! 50 I have an immersion to undergo — how pressured I feel till it’s over! 51 Do you think that I have come to bring peace in the Land? Not peace, I tell you, but division! 52 For from now on, a household of five will be divided, three against two, two against three.
53 Father will be divided against son
54 Then to the crowds Yeshua said, “When you see a cloud-bank rising in the west, at once you say that a rainstorm is coming; 55 and when the wind is from the south, you say there will be a heat wave, and there 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 decide for yourselves what is the right course to follow? 58 If someone brings a lawsuit against you, take pains to settle with him first; otherwise he will take the matter to court, and the judge will turn you over to the bailiff, and the bailiff will throw you in jail. 59 I tell you, you won’t get out of there till you have paid the last penny!”
Luke 12 The Message (MSG)
Can’t Hide Behind a Religious Mask
12 1-3 By this time the crowd, unwieldy and stepping on each other’s toes, numbered into the thousands. But Jesus’ primary concern was his disciples. He said to them, “Watch yourselves carefully so you don’t get contaminated with Pharisee yeast, Pharisee phoniness. You can’t keep your true self hidden forever; before long you’ll be exposed. You can’t hide behind a religious mask forever; sooner or later the mask will slip and your true face will be known. You can’t whisper one thing in private and preach the opposite in public; the day’s coming when those whispers will be repeated all over town.
4-5 “I’m speaking to you as dear friends. Don’t be bluffed into silence or insincerity by the threats of religious bullies. True, they can kill you, but then what can they do? There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.
6-7 “What’s the price of two or three pet canaries? Some loose change, right? But God never overlooks a single one. And he pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.
8-9 “Stand up for me among the people you meet and the Son of Man will stand up for you before all God’s angels. But if you pretend you don’t know me, do you think I’ll defend you before God’s angels?
10 “If you bad-mouth the Son of Man out of misunderstanding or ignorance, that can be overlooked. But if you’re knowingly attacking God himself, taking aim at the Holy Spirit, that won’t be overlooked.
11-12 “When they drag you into their meeting places, or into police courts and before judges, don’t worry about defending yourselves—what you’ll say or how you’ll say it. The right words will be there. The Holy Spirit will give you the right words when the time comes.”
The Story of the Greedy Farmer
13 Someone out of the crowd said, “Teacher, order my brother to give me a fair share of the family inheritance.”
14 He replied, “Mister, what makes you think it’s any of my business to be a judge or mediator for you?”
15 Speaking to the people, he went on, “Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.”
16-19 Then he told them this story: “The farm of a certain rich man produced a terrific crop. He talked to himself: ‘What can I do? My barn isn’t big enough for this harvest.’ Then he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll gather in all my grain and goods, and I’ll say to myself, Self, you’ve done well! You’ve got it made and can now retire. Take it easy and have the time of your life!’
20 “Just then God showed up and said, ‘Fool! Tonight you die. And your barnful of goods—who gets it?’
21 “That’s what happens when you fill your barn with Self and not with God.”
Steep Yourself in God-Reality
22-24 He continued this subject with his disciples. “Don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or if the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your inner life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the ravens, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, carefree in the care of God. And you count far more.
25-28 “Has anyone by fussing before the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? If fussing can’t even do that, why fuss at all? Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don’t fuss with their appearance—but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?
29-32 “What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.
33-34 “Be generous. Give to the poor. Get yourselves a bank that can’t go bankrupt, a bank in heaven far from bankrobbers, safe from embezzlers, a bank you can bank on. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
When the Master Shows Up
35-38 “Keep your shirts on; keep the lights on! Be like house servants waiting for their master to come back from his honeymoon, awake and ready to open the door when he arrives and knocks. Lucky the servants whom the master finds on watch! He’ll put on an apron, sit them at the table, and serve them a meal, sharing his wedding feast with them. It doesn’t matter what time of the night he arrives; they’re awake—and so blessed!
39-40 “You know that if the house owner had known what night the burglar was coming, he wouldn’t have stayed out late and left the place unlocked. So don’t you be slovenly and careless. Just when you don’t expect him, the Son of Man will show up.”
41 Peter said, “Master, are you telling this story just for us? Or is it for everybody?”
42-46 The Master said, “Let me ask you: Who is the dependable manager, full of common sense, that the master puts in charge of his staff to feed them well and on time? He is a blessed man if when the master shows up he’s doing his job. But if he says to himself, ‘The master is certainly taking his time,’ begins maltreating the servants and maids, throws parties for his friends, and gets drunk, the master will walk in when he least expects it, give him the thrashing of his life, and put him back in the kitchen peeling potatoes.
47-48 “The servant who knows what his master wants and ignores it, or insolently does whatever he pleases, will be thoroughly thrashed. But if he does a poor job through ignorance, he’ll get off with a slap on the hand. Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities!
To Start a Fire
49-53 “I’ve come to start a fire on this earth—how I wish it were blazing right now! I’ve come to change everything, turn everything rightside up—how I long for it to be finished! Do you think I came to smooth things over and make everything nice? Not so. I’ve come to disrupt and confront! From now on, when you find five in a house, it will be—
Three against two,
54-56 Then he turned to the crowd: “When you see clouds coming in from the west, you say, ‘Storm’s coming’—and you’re right. And when the wind comes out of the south, you say, ‘This’ll be a hot one’—and you’re right. Frauds! You know how to tell a change in the weather, so don’t tell me you can’t tell a change in the season, the God-season we’re in right now.
57-59 “You don’t have to be a genius to understand these things. Just use your common sense, the kind you’d use if, while being taken to court, you decided to settle up with your accuser on the way, knowing that if the case went to the judge you’d probably go to jail and pay every last penny of the fine. That’s the kind of decision I’m asking you to make.”