Beware of Religious Hypocrisy
1Meanwhile, a crowd of many thousands came together, so that they were trampling12:1 Lk 8:5 on one another. He began to say to his disciples first,12:1 Mt 16:5–6; Mk 8:14–15 “Be on your guard12:1 Jr 9:4; Lk 17:3; Ac 20:28 against the leaven12:1 Or yeast12:1 Lk 13:21; Gl 5:9 of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.12:1 Mt 23:28; Mk 12:15; Gl 2:13; 1Pt 2:1
2There is nothing covered that won’t be uncovered,12:2–9 Mt 10:26–33; Mk 4:22; Lk 8:17 nothing hidden that won’t be made known.12:2 Lk 6:44
3Therefore, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in an ear in private rooms12:3 Mt 6:6; 24:26; Lk 12:24 will be proclaimed on the housetops.12:3 Ac 10:9
Fear God
4 “I say to you, my friends, 12:4 Ac 27:3 don’t fear12:4 Is 8:13; 51:12; Jr 1:8; Jn 6:20 those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more.
5But I will show you the one to fear: Fear12:5 Ps 147:11; Pr 1:7; Ac 10:2; Rv 14:7 him who has authority to throw people into hell12:5 Mk 9:43; Jms 3:6 after death. Yes, I say to you, this is the one to fear!
6Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies?12:6 Lit two assaria; a small copper coin Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight.12:6 Ps 50:11
7Indeed, the hairs of your head are all counted. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Acknowledging Christ
8 “And I say to you, anyone who acknowledges 12:8 Mt 7:23; Jn 9:22 me before others, the Son of Man12:8 Lk 5:24; 11:30 will also acknowledge him before the angels of God,12:8 Lk 15:10; Jn 1:51; Ac 10:3; Rm 10:9; Rv 3:5
9but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.12:9 Lk 9:26
10Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven,12:10 Mt 12:31–32; Mk 3:28–30 but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit12:10 Lk 1:15,35; 2:25–26; 3:22 will not be forgiven.
11Whenever12:11–12 Mt 10:19–20; Mk 13:11; Lk 21:14–15 they bring you before synagogues and rulers and authorities,12:11 Lk 20:20; Eph 3:10; Col 2:15 don’t worry12:11 Php 4:6 about how you should defend12:11 Ac 26:24 yourselves or what you should say.
12For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what must be said.”12:12 Pr 1:23; Jn 14:26
The Parable of the Rich Fool
13Someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher,12:13 Lk 11:45 tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 “Friend,” 12:14 Lit Man he said to him, “who appointed me a judge or arbitrator over you?”
15He then told them, “Watch out and be on guard12:15 1Tm 6:20; 2Tm 1:14; 4:15; 2Pt 3:17; 1Jn 5:21 against all greed,12:15 Eph 5:3 because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.”12:15 Gn 12:5; Jb 20:20; 31:24; Ps 62:10
16Then he told them a parable:12:16 Lk 5:36; 8:11 “A rich12:16 Lk 6:24; 16:19; 18:23; 19:2; 21:1 man’s land was very productive.
17He thought to himself, ‘What should I do, since I don’t have anywhere to store my crops?
18I will do this,’ he said. ‘I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones and store all my grain and my goods there.
19Then I’ll say to myself, “You have many goods stored up for many years. Take it easy;12:19 Mt 11:28; Mk 6:31; Rv 6:11; 14:13 eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.”’12:19 Ec 2:24
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! 12:20 Jr 17:11; Lk 11:40 This very night your life is demanded of you. And the things you have prepared — whose will they be?’12:20 Ps 39:6; 49:10; Jr 17:11; Mt 16:26
21 “That’s how it is with the one who stores up treasure 12:21 2Pt 3:7 for himself and is not rich toward God.”12:21 Mt 6:19–20
The Cure for Anxiety
22Then he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you,12:22–32 Mt 6:25–34 don’t worry about your life, what you will eat; or about the body, what you will wear.12:22 Pr 31:25
23For life is more than food and the body more than clothing.
24Consider the ravens:12:24 1Kg 17:4,6; Jb 38:41; Ps 147:9; Pr 30:17 They don’t sow or reap; they don’t have a storeroom or a barn; yet God feeds them.12:24 Rv 12:6 Aren’t you worth much more than the birds?
25Can any of you add one moment to his life span12:25 Or add a cubit to his height by worrying?12:25 Php 4:6
26If then you’re not able to do even a little thing, why worry about the rest?
27 “Consider how the wildflowers grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon 12:27 1Kg 10:4–7 in all his splendor was adorned like one of these.
28If that’s how God clothes the grass, which is in the field today and is thrown into the furnace tomorrow, how much more will he do for you — you of little faith?12:28 Mt 8:26; 14:31; 16:8
29Don’t strive for what you should eat and what you should drink, and don’t be anxious.
30For the Gentile world eagerly seeks12:30 Heb 11:14; 13:14 all these things, and your Father12:30 Mt 5:16; 6:1; 11:27; Jn 8:42 knows that you need them.
31 “But seek his kingdom, 12:31 Mt 5:6,20; Lk 11:2 and these things will be provided for you.12:31 1Kg 3:11–14; Mt 19:29; Mk 10:29–30
32Don’t be afraid,12:32 Lk 12:4,7 little flock,12:32 Is 40:11; Ac 20:28; 1Pt 5:2–3 because your Father delights12:32 Mt 11:26; Lk 10:21; Eph 1:5,9; Php 2:13 to give you the kingdom.12:32 Mt 13:19; 25:34; Lk 22:29
33Sell12:33–34 Mt 6:19–21 your possessions and give to the poor.12:33 Ac 24:17 Make money-bags12:33 Lk 10:4 for yourselves that won’t grow old, an inexhaustible treasure12:33 Mk 10:21; 2Co 4:7 in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.12:34 1Pt 1:4
Ready for the Master’s Return
35 “Be ready for service 12:35 Lit “Let your loins be girded; an idiom for tying up loose outer clothing in preparation for action; Ex 12:11 and have your lamps lit.12:35–48 Mt 24:42–51; 25:1–13; Mk 13:33–37; Jn 13:4–5
36You are to be like people waiting for their master12:36 2Pt 3:12 to return from the wedding banquet12:36 Jn 2:1 so that when he comes and knocks, they can open the door for him at once.12:36 Rv 3:20
37Blessed will be those servants the master finds alert12:37 Rm 13:11 when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will get ready,12:37 Lit will gird himself have them recline at the table, then come and serve them.12:37 Lk 17:8; 22:27
38If he comes in the middle of the night, or even near dawn,12:38 Lit even in the second or third watch and finds them alert, blessed are those servants.
39But know this: If the homeowner had known at what hour the thief was coming,12:39 1Th 5:2 he would not have let his house be broken into.
40You also be ready,12:40 Lk 21:36 because the Son of Man12:40 Mk 2:10 is coming at an hour you do not expect.”12:40 1Th 5:2; 2Pt 3:10; Rv 3:3; 16:15
Rewards and Punishment
41“Lord,” Peter asked, “are you telling this parable to us or to everyone?”
42The Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and sensible manager12:42 Lk 16:1 his master will put in charge of his household servants to give them their allotted food12:42 1Tm 6:8 at the proper time?
43Blessed is that servant whom the master finds doing his job when he comes.
44Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
45But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’12:45 1Jn 2:28 and starts to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk,
46that servant’s master will come on a day he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know. He will cut him to pieces12:46 Lit him in two and assign him a place with the unfaithful.12:46 Or unbelievers
47And that servant who knew his master’s will and didn’t prepare himself or do it12:47 Lit or do toward his will, will be severely beaten.12:47 Dt 25:2; Jms 4:17
48But the one who did not know and did what deserved12:48 Lv 5:17; Nm 15:29 punishment will receive a light beating. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be expected.12:48 Or much12:48 Lv 5:17; Mt 13:12; Rm 1:20; 2:14; 1Tm 1:13
Not Peace but Division
49 “I came 12:49–53 Mt 10:34–36; Mk 10:38 to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already set ablaze!
50But I have a baptism to undergo,12:50 Ac 22:16; Rm 6:3; Eph 4:5 and how it consumes12:50 2Co 5:14 me until it is finished!12:50 Jn 19:28; 19:30
51Do you think that I came here to bring peace on the earth?12:51 Lk 2:14 No, I tell you, but rather division.
52From now on, five in one household will be divided: three against two, and two against three.
53 They will be divided, father against son,
son against father,
mother against daughter,
daughter against mother,
mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law,
and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law. 12:53 Mc 7:6 12:53 Mc 7:6
Interpreting the Time
54He also said to the crowds,12:54–56 Mt 16:2–3 “When you see a cloud rising in the west, right away you say, ‘A storm is coming,’ and so it does.12:54 1Kg 18:43–44
55And when the south wind is blowing, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is.
56Hypocrites!12:56 Lk 6:42 You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why don’t you know how to interpret this present time?12:56 Lk 20:10; 21:8,30
Settling Accounts
57 “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 12:57–59 Mt 5:25–26
58As you are going with your adversary12:58 1Pt 5:8 to the ruler, make an effort to settle with him on the way. Then he won’t drag you before the judge,12:58 2Tm 4:8 the judge hand you over to the bailiff, and the bailiff throw you into prison.12:58 Pr 25:8
59I tell you, you will never get out of there until you have paid the last penny.”12:59 Gk lepton, the smallest and least valuable copper coin in use12:59 Lk 21:2