By Judy Laredo
2 Peter 1:12
“For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.”
SCRIPTURE: Luke 12:22-34
Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about
your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.
v23 “Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.
v24 “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?
“And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
v26 “If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?
v27 “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
“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
v29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.
v30 “For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things.
“But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.
v32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
v33 “Sell what you have and give alms; 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.
v34 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
In Philippians 4:4-7, the Apostle Paul tells us “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus .”
(Setting Context for Luke 12 Study)
In Warren Wiersbe’s Commentary for Luke 12, he points out 5 warnings that Jesus gave to us.
: Found in verses 1-12 -
BEWARE OF HYPOCRISY
Jesus is warning His disciples about the hypocrisy of the religious leaders. But not just the hypocrisy of seeming to appear “more spiritual” than they really were. It’s also a warning of seeming to appear “less spiritual” because of the disciple’s fear of the crowds and their possible resistance or rejection of the Gospel. The fear of man instead of the fear of God
: Found in verses 13-21 -
BEWARE OF COVETOUSNESS
A man is asking Jesus to tell his brother to divide the inheritance with him. But Jesus refuses to be an arbitrator and begins to tell them a parable about the Rich Fool. In the NKJV of this parable, you will count 11 personal pronouns used by the Rich Fool.
: Found in verses 22-34 -
BEWARE OF WORRYING
In the previous section, Jesus was speaking to the multitude. People who worried about their possessions for the future, AND those who were worried about meeting their basic needs for today. But in this section, Jesus is speaking directly to His disciples
: Found in verses 35-53 -
BEWARE OF CARELESSNESS
Jesus gives them a parable about The Faithful Servant vs. The Evil Servant - Jesus is warning us that we need to be Waiting, Watchful, and Working. There is no time, especially now, to be careless in our walk with the Lord.
: Found in verses 54-59 -
BEWARE OF SPIRITUAL DULLNESS
Discerning the Signs of the Time – It’s a parable and a warning, to Jesus’ second coming. Jesus said in Luke 12:56 “Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?” We need to be Diligent and Discerning, recognizing the signs of the time, of our Lord’s soon return.
Right before Jesus warns His disciples to “do not worry,” He tells them a parable about the “Rich Fool” regarding covetousness ( v13-21). In David’ Guzik’s commentary he said, “Greed and worry are closely connected. Greed can never get enough, and worry is afraid it will never have enough.”
In Matthew chapter 6, God warns us about laying up treasures here on earth, being rich towards ourselves, instead of laying up treasures in Heaven (being rich towards God). God wants us to lay up treasures “in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:20) . The 10th commandment is “You shall not covet . . .” (Exodus 20:17). The danger about covetousness is wanting more and more. The more we have, the more we have to worry about. Or worse, if we’re not content with what we do have, we become preoccupied about accumulating the things we don’t have. We’ll never be satisfied. Hebrews 13:5 says, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Verse 22: Jesus said “Therefore I say to you. . .” Jesus gave us a command. (It’s a command I’ve broken every single day of my life!) It’s a command that has been broken by every single person (many times)! Continuing in v22 “ . . . do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.” Any time we read the New Testament, we need to keep in mind the culture of that time and that they only had the Old Testament to refer back to. And, of course, we know Jesus quoted from the Old Testament many times. I believe Jesus always alluded to the Old Testament in His teachings. Afterall, He is the Living Word. Jesus challenged their thinking, and He wants to do the same with us as we read His word.
He wants us to remember how God miraculously took care of Israel as they wandered in the wilderness. He wants us to remember how He parted the sea so they could escape the Egyptian army. And how God fed them manna every morning and even supplied them and their flocks and herds with water from a rock. In Deuteronomy 8:4, the Lord said, “Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years.” He guided them, protected them, and provided for them in a barren land. “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light. . .” Exodus 13:21. And this was for over 2 million people!
Verse 23: “Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.”
In Jesus’ time, they didn’t know when their next meal would be. They didn’t
have closets full of clothing. They had to make their clothes. They had to
butcher their meat. They had to bake their bread. Today, we worry more
about WHERE we’re going to eat.
We worry about WHAT we’re going to wear. (How many times do we stand in front of our closets saying I don’t have anything to wear?!)
But Jesus said, “Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.” Deuteronomy 8:3 says, “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD. While the children of Israel wandered in the desert, God preserved them, and gave them manna, their daily bread. Today, while we, His children, sojourn in this world, God preserves us, by giving us His Living Word which is our “manna,” our daily bread. Jesus said in, John 6:35, “. . .I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” John 6:57 says, “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.”
Verse 24: “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?” The word “Consider” means: To think about; To contemplate; Reflect/Ponder; To remember. God told Moses in Deuteronomy 14:14, “every Raven after its kind” is to be considered unclean. Yet Jesus said here in v24 “. . .and God feeds them.” If God so cares for the “unclean birds,” “Of how much more value are you than the birds?”
In reading and listening to A LOT of commentaries and bible studies, I came across two dominant “principals” (or rules) that were used during Jesus’ earthly ministry for interpreting the word of God. These writings, or commentaries, were from two influential Jewish Rabbis, Hillel and Shammai. Seven 'measures' or rules were used for interpretation, but one of the best-known is the Qal Vahomer Principal. This principle involves arguing from the lesser to the greater, (“vice-versa”). For instance, if something lessor is true then how much truer is the greater? Another example is, if “A” is so, then “B” must surely be so. That same rule is used here inv24. If God cares for the Ravens (the lessor), how much more does He care about you ( about me)?
The same rule of the “Lessor to the Greater” is also found in Luke 12:6-7, “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” So again, if God cares about the sparrows (the lessor), how much more does He care about people (the greater)? (These principals are found throughout scripture.) Anyway, all this just to say --as you already know-- you and I are so highly valued above all of God’s creation. God sent His only begotten Son to die for us. Jesus didn’t die for the birds. The birds were not created in the image of God. We were created in His image (Gen 1:27). He knit us together in our mother’s womb (Ps 139:13). We are His workmanship (Eph 2:10). We are the apple of His eye (Ps 17:8; Zec 2:8).
Verse 25: “And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” The word “Stature” can also be used to describe age, or time/length of life, or maturity (in years or size). A cubit is approximately 18 inches. We can’t even add one inch to our height let alone 18-inches! Who can add an hour to extend their lives?! In other words, Jesus is saying, we’re usually worrying about things we have absolutely no control over.
Verse 26: “If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?” If we don’t have control over the small things, why are we worried about the bigger things (that we still have no control over)? Yes, it is normal to have concerns, but we shouldn’t allow them to turn into despair. So, the question is: Are we really believing that God is Sovereign? Are we really believing that God is in control?
Verse 27: “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Flowers don’t last very long. They wither and fade and are thrown out. Yet, our heavenly Father causes them grow abundantly and beautifully. Notice again, Jesus said to “consider,” provoking us to think (to remember). In this verse, Jesus mentions Solomon in all his splendor. Yet Jesus is also saying that the “clothes” that God arrays the lilies with - put the garments of King Solomon to shame.
In 1 Kings 3:9, King Solomon asked God for an “. . .understanding heart to judge His people, that he may discern between good and evil,” God answered his prayer and gave King Solomon wisdom to discern justice. And because Solomon didn’t ask for long life, riches, or for the death of his enemies, God gave him all those things anyway. Health, Riches, and Peace.
God knows what we need and when we need it. Like King Solomon, we need to ask God for that wise and understanding heart so that we can discern our circumstances. We don’t want to miss out what God wants to do in us and through us. We need to consider that some trials are actually blessings in disguise. And maybe, even answered prayer.
Verse 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?” God takes care of the flowers, and the grass, and they don’t do anything! God created everything and He takes care of everything He created (including us).
The ROOT of worry and greed is the absence of faith and trust. Our excessive worrying is saying that God can’t be trusted with our situation. Mark Twain said, “I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” Corry Ten Boom said, “Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength – carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
It is God who gives the increase. Yes, we have our part to play and our work to do, but God is the One that causes everything to grow and multiply.
Verse 29: “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.” Warren Wiersbe points out that it’s the same warning as in v22. So, it’s a “double” warning. But an anxious mind is added in this verse. Alexander MacLaren’s commentary states, “The ‘anxious mind’ or ‘being of a doubtful mind’ is to be lifted on high, and then to be tossed from height to depth, up and down, as a ship in a storm. So, it paints the wretchedness of anxiety as to go back and forth, between hopes and fears,”
Jesus said in
John 14:1, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe
also in Me.”
And Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Verse 30: “For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things.” God knows what we need better than we know ourselves. And He knows what’s best for us and when it’s best for us. Warren Wiersbe said, “The disciples had given up all that they had in order to follow Christ. They were living by faith. . .and faith is always tested.” Jesus already taught His disciples what to do in this matter—they simply were to pray, like in Matthew 6:11, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Warren Wiersbe also said, “How can we witness to a lost world and encourage them to put their faith in Jesus Christ if we ourselves are doubting God and worrying?”
Verse 31: “But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.” Jesus points us back to the answer on what to do when we worry. We need to “seek the kingdom of God.” Everything else is secondary. Who. . .where. . .what. . . do we place our values on? Until we value God’s Kingdom above our own kingdom we will live for our kingdom. Skip Heitzig said, “When we worry, we’re usually worrying about our kingdom. That means we’re working for our kingdom instead of working for God’s Kingdom. Instead of doing THAT (worrying) we need to do THIS instead (seek His Kingdom). And how do we seek His Kingdom? By praying and reading His word.” Just like we’re told in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.” Praying takes the focus off of ourselves and our worries, and it enables us to place our focus on God.
In Haggai 1:9, God said to the remnant that returned back to Israel, “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house.”
After being exiled, the children of Israel returned to their land to rebuild the temple. But after two-years, they stopped the temple work and started work on their own houses (their own “kingdom”). For 16 years, they left the House of the Lord in ruins. They took their eyes off of God and their priorities changed. It’s the same with us. At times, we take our eyes off of God and our priorities change. Jesus sets things straight here when He says, “seek the Kingdom of God.” In Matthew 6:33, Jesus said it this way, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Our salvation, our relationship with God is our highest priority. As Alistair Begg shared in a bible study, When we’re planning our wedding and building our homes we need to Seek His Kingdom. When babies are born and we’re raising our children and grandchildren, we need to Seek His Kingdom. When finances are low or medical bills increase, when our health begins to fail, we need to Seek His Kingdom. When we hear of wars and rumors of wars, or pestilence or disease (Covid), we need to Seek His Kingdom. When we experience tragedy or experience loss and our joy is turned into mourning, we need to Seek His Kingdom.
Our highest priority, especially in our pain and suffering, is to Seek the Kingdom of God. We need to seek His Rule over ours. Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” When we make His Kingdom our priority, we will see our worries become smaller and our God become Greater. The Lord promised that if weSeek His Kingdom, “ALL these things shall be added to you.”
Verse 32: “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Jesus called His disciples, “little flock.” It reminds us of Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd...” Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He guides us, He comforts us, He protects us, and He watches over us. WE are His little flock. Psalms 100:3 says “Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Continuing in v32 Jesus said, “it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” In Matthew 25:34, Jesus said, “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” The Father, gladly, wants to give us the kingdom.
Verse 33: “Sell what you have and give alms; 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. ” It seems that other than food or clothing, everything else is to be considered a “luxury.” In today’s world, most of us have more than enough. In one of the many commentaries I read, it stated, ”I do not think that Jesus is commanding every disciple to sell every possession and live in dire poverty. But, as we begin to give to others, (freely and generously) it will help break us free from the grip of covetousness. ” Warren Wiersbe said, “How tragic when people are rich in this world but poor in the next.” Psalms 55:22 says, “Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”
Verse 34: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ” So, where is your heart? What do you place your value on? Your home or vacation home? Your business? Your finances? Your treasure is everything that is of value and of great importance to you. Some people treasure sports, or they treasure their education or their careers, or their car, or their relationships and even their social circles. What are you invested in? What have you set your heart upon? Your heart will follow your treasure.
In v34, Jesus is showing us that we cannot separate our heart from our treasure. The power of greed AND the power of worry can only be overcome when we invest our time and energy (and money) for His kingdom.
Philippians4:19,“AndmyGodshallsupplyallyourneedaccordingtoHisrichesinglorybyChristJesus.” Our God is abundantly gracious and generous towards us. Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Jesus said, “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Luke 11:9-10.
So how do we really apply the “Do Not Worry” to our lives? We live in the real world. Worry is an everyday part of life. We do not live above worry, but we don’t want to sink into despair either. Jesus said in John 16:33 that “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” We know our Lord can overcome any illness, any financial burden, any marital issues, any addiction, any prodigal child, sibling, or friend, even our unsaved, unbelieving loved ones. Jesus can overcome anything and everything. Jesus said in Matthew 19:26, “. . .With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
The promises Jesus gives to us in His word are “Yes and in Him Amen.” (2 Corinthians 1:20). His promises are TRUE, and His word is EVERLASTING. Jesus said in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” ”Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Pastor Sean Chapman , in a bible study stated, “We need to turn our worries into an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to trust Him. It’s an opportunity to pray. It’s an opportunity to praise Him. It’s an opportunity to cast our cares onto Him so that He can still our minds and our hearts and we can receive His peace. As we read His word and receive His promises, we start to become still. As we read about His faithfulness; His love for us; His Omniscience and Omnipresence, we receive His peace.”
OUR GOD IS ABLE. He is able to keep us safe, keep us fed, and keep us clothed. He is able to help us through any difficulty that arises in our lives. In Jeremiah 32:27, God said, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” In Mark 9:23, “Jesus said. . .“If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
As we surrender, as we loosen our grip and let go of this world and the things in it, and place our complete trust in the Lord, we’ll have confidence in what Jesus said in Matthew 28:20, “. . .to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
When we worry or become anxious, we need to do what1 Peter 5:7 tells us to do, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” We need to SEEK His Kingdom. We need toPRAY and READ His word. We need to WORSHIP Him. And we need to PRAISE and bless His Name, in the good times, and in the not-so-good times.
For all things, let us look to Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Psalms 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” Isaiah 41:13 says, “For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.” And, as the author of Hebrews 10:23 writes, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”
So let us hold fast to Jesus. The King of kings and Lord of lords. For Jesus (His word) is the True Treasure from Heaven. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.” Jude 1:24-25