This is Episode #302 and today we’ll read Luke chapters 12&13 together. These lessons include The Parable of the Rich Fool, The Cure for Anxiety, and The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #302 and today we’ll read Luke chapters 12 & 13 together. These lessons include The Parable of the Rich Fool, The Cure for Anxiety, and The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Luke Chapter 12
Beware of Religious Hypocrisy
Meanwhile, a crowd of many thousands came together, so that they were trampling on one another. He began to say to his disciples first, “Be on your guard against the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. There is nothing covered that won’t be uncovered, nothing hidden that won’t be made known. Therefore, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in an ear in private rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.
“I say to you, my friends, don’t fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will show you the one to fear: Fear him who has authority to throw people into hell after death. Yes, I say to you, this is the one to fear! Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. Indeed, the hairs of your head are all counted. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
“And I say to you, anyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God, but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Whenever they bring you before synagogues and rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how you should defend yourselves or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what must be said.”
The Parable of the Rich Fool
Someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
“Friend,” he said to him, “who appointed me a judge or arbitrator over you?”He then told them, “Watch out and be on guard against all greed, because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.”
Then he told them a parable: “A rich man’s land was very productive. He thought to himself, ‘What should I do, since I don’t have anywhere to store my crops? I will do this,’ he said. ‘I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones and store all my grain and my goods there. Then I’ll say to myself, “You have many goods stored up for many years. Take it easy; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is demanded of you. And the things you have prepared — whose will they be?’
“That’s how it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
The Cure for Anxiety
Then he said to his disciples,“Therefore I tell you, don’t worry about your life, what you will eat; or about the body, what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: They don’t sow or reap; they don’t have a storeroom or a barn; yet God feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than the birds? Can any of you add one moment to his life span by worrying? If then you’re not able to do even a little thing, why worry about the rest?
“Consider how the wildflowers grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these. If 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? Don’t strive for what you should eat and what you should drink, and don’t be anxious. For the Gentile world eagerly seeks all these things, and your Father knows that you need them.
“But seek his kingdom, and these things will be provided for you. Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father delights to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Make money-bags for yourselves that won’t grow old, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Ready for the Master’s Return
“Be ready for service and have your lamps lit. You are to be like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet so that when he comes and knocks, they can open the door for him at once. Blessed will be those servants the master finds alert when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will get ready, have them recline at the table, then come and serve them. If he comes in the middle of the night, or even near dawn, and finds them alert, blessed are those servants. But know this: If the homeowner had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
Rewards and Punishment
“Lord,” Peter asked, “are you telling this parable to us or to everyone?”
The Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and sensible manager his master will put in charge of his household servants to give them their allotted food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom the master finds doing his job when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and starts to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, that 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 pieces and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
“And that servant who knew his master’s will and didn’t prepare himself or do it will be severely beaten. But the one who did not know and did what deserved 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.
Not Peace but Division
“I came to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already set ablaze! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how it consumes me until it is finished! Do you think that I came here to bring peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on, five in one household will be divided: three against two, and two against three.
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.”
Interpreting the Time
He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, right away you say, ‘A storm is coming,’ and so it does. And when the south wind is blowing, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. Hypocrites! 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?
“Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? As you are going with your adversary to the ruler, make an effort to settle with him on the way. Then he won’t drag you before the judge, the judge hand you over to the bailiff, and the bailiff throw you into prison. I tell you, you will never get out of there until you have paid the last penny.”
Luke Chapter 13
Repent or Perish
At that time, some people came and reported to him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And he responded to them, “Do you think that these Galileans were more sinful than all the other Galileans because they suffered these things? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as well. Or those eighteen that the tower in Siloam fell on and killed— do you think they were more sinful than all the other people who live in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as well.”
The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree that was planted in his vineyard. He came looking for fruit on it and found none. He told the vineyard worker, ‘Listen, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it even waste the soil?’
“But he replied to him, ‘Sir, leave it this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. Perhaps it will produce fruit next year, but if not, you can cut it down.’”
Healing a Daughter of Abraham
As he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath, a woman was there who had been disabled by a spirit for over eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called out to her, “Woman, you are free of your disability.” Then he laid his hands on her, and instantly she was restored and began to glorify God.
But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, responded by telling the crowd, “There are six days when work should be done; therefore come on those days and be healed and not on the Sabbath day.”
But the Lord answered him and said, “Hypocrites! Doesn’t each one of you untie his ox or donkey from the feeding trough on the Sabbath and lead it to water? Satan has bound this woman, a daughter of Abraham, for eighteen years — shouldn’t she be untied from this bondage on the Sabbath day?”
When he had said these things, all his adversaries were humiliated, but the whole crowd was rejoicing over all the glorious things he was doing.
The Parables of the Mustard Seed and of the Leaven
He said, therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like, and what can I compare it to? It’s like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the sky nested in its branches.”
Again he said, “What can I compare the kingdom of God to? It’s like leaven that a woman took and mixed into fifty pounds of flour until all of it was leavened.”
The Narrow Way
He went through one town and village after another, teaching and making his way to Jerusalem. “Lord,” someone asked him, “are only a few people going to be saved?”
He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because I tell you, many will try to enter and won’t be able once the homeowner gets up and shuts the door. Then you will stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up for us! ’
“He will answer you, ‘I don’t know you or where you’re from.’ Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you or where you’re from. Get away from me, all you evildoers!’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in that place, when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves thrown out. They will come from east and west, from north and south, to share the banquet in the kingdom of God.
“Note this: Some who are last will be first, and some who are first will be last.”
Jesus and Herod Antipas
At that time some Pharisees came and told him, “Go, get out of here. Herod wants to kill you.”
He said to them, “Go tell that fox, ‘Look, I’m driving out demons and performing healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will complete my work.’ Yet it is necessary that I travel today, tomorrow, and the next day, because it is not possible for a prophet to perish outside of Jerusalem.
Jesus’s Lamentation over Jerusalem
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See, your house is abandoned to you. I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’!”
What was it 12:19 & 20 said? “You have many goods stored up for many years. Take it easy; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life is demanded of you. And the things you have prepared — whose will they be?”
Success in our society is usually measured by how rich and famous a person has become. We look up to them and admire them and hang on to every word they say, regardless of their qualifications. And we hope for the same, that we can accumulate enough wealth in our lives to take it easy and live a life of luxurious ease.
I remember a popular poster when I was growing up. It showed a beautiful mansion on the water with a yacht at the dock, a helicopter on the lawn and a luxury automobile in the drive. The caption said, “whoever dies with the most toys – wins”.
But what do they win? The admiration of men? Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:19-21, “Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Let’s pray. Lord, our lives are so short and eternity is forever. Yet we spend so much of our time focused on the here and now. Forgive us for being obsessed with success here on earth. Help us to focus on You and Your kingdom and the riches of heaven. In Jesus’s holy name, Amen.
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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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