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1 In the meane time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one vpon another, he began to say vnto his disciples first of all, Beware yee of the leauen of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisie.

2 For there is nothing couered, that shall not be reuealed, neither hid, that shall not be knowen.

3 Therefore, whatsoeuer yee haue spoken in darkenesse, shall bee heard in the light: and that which yee haue spoken in the eare, in closets, shal be proclaimed vpon the house tops.

4 And I say vnto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that, haue no more that they can doe.

5 But I will forewarne you whom you shall feare: Feare him, which after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell, yea, I say vnto you, Feare him.

6 Are not fiue sparrowes solde for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?

7 But euen the very haires of your head are all numbred: Feare not therefore, ye are of more value then many sparrowes.

8 Also I say vnto you, Whosoeuer shall confesse me before men, him shall the Sonne of man also confesse before the Angels of God.

9 But he that denieth me before men, shalbe denied before the Angels of God.

10 And whosoeuer shall speake a word against the Sonne of man, it shall be forgiuen him: but vnto him that blasphemeth against the holy Ghost, it shal not be forgiuen.

11 And when they bring you vnto the Synagogues, and vnto Magistrates, & powers, take yee no thought how or what thing ye shall answere, or what ye shall say:

12 For the holy Ghost shal teach you in the same houre, what ye ought to say.

13 And one of the company saide vnto him, Master, speake to my brother, that he diuide the inheritance with me.

14 And he said vnto him, Man, who made mee a iudge, or a diuider ouer you?

15 And he said vnto them, Take heed and beware of couetousnes: for a mans life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

16 And he spake a parable vnto them, saying, The ground of a certaine rich man brought foorth plentifully.

17 And he thought within himselfe, saying, What shall I doe, because I haue no roome where to bestow my fruits?

18 And he said, This will I doe, I will pull downe my barnes, and build greater, and there will I bestow all my fruits, and my goods.

19 And I will say to my soule, Soule, thou hast much goods layd vp for many yeeres, take thine ease, eate, drinke, and be merry.

20 But God said vnto him, Thou foole, this night thy soule shal be required of thee: then whose shal those things be which thou hast prouided?

21 So is he that laieth vp treasure for himselfe, and is not rich towards God.

22 And he said vnto his disciples, Therefore I say vnto you, Take no thought for your life what yee shall eate, neither for the body what yee shall put on.

23 The life is more then meate, and the body is more then raiment.

24 Consider the rauens, for they neither sow nor reape, which neither haue storehouse nor barne, and God feedeth them: How much more are yee better then the foules?

25 And which of you with taking thought can adde to his stature one cubite?

26 If yee then bee not able to doe that thing which is least, why take yee thought for the rest?

27 Consider the Lillies how they growe, they toile not; they spinne not: and yet I say vnto you, that Solomon in all his glory, was not arayed like one of these.

28 If then God so clothe the grasse, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the ouen: how much more will he clothe you, O ye of litle faith?

29 And seeke not yee what yee shall eate, or what ye shall drinke, neither be ye of doubtfull minde.

30 For all these things doe the nations of the world seeke after: and your father knoweth that yee haue neede of these things.

31 But rather seeke yee the kingdome of God, and all these things shall be added vnto you.

32 Feare not, litle flocke, for it is your fathers good pleasure to giue you the kingdome.

33 Sell that yee haue, and giue almes: prouide your selues bagges which waxe not old, a treasure in the heauens that faileth not, where no theefe approcheth, neither moth corrupteth.

34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

35 Let your loines be girded about, and your lights burning,

36 And ye your selues like vnto men that waite for their Lord, when he will returne from the wedding, that when he commeth and knocketh, they may open vnto him immediately.

37 Blessed are those seruants, whom the Lord when he commeth, shall find watching: Uerily, I say vnto you, That he shall girde himselfe, and make them to sit downe to meate, and will come foorth and serue them.

38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those seruants.

39 And this know, that if the good man of the house had knowen what houre the theefe would come, he would haue watched, and not haue suffred his house to be broken thorow.

40 Be yee therefore ready also: for the sonne of man commeth at an houre when yee thinke not.

41 Then Peter said vnto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable vnto vs, or euen to all?

42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithfull and wise steward, whom his Lord shall make ruler ouer his houshold, to giue them their portion of meate in due season?

43 Blessed is that seruant, whom his Lord when he commeth, shall find so doing.

44 Of a trueth, I say vnto you, that hee will make him ruler ouer all that he hath.

45 But and if that seruant say in his heart, My Lord delayeth his comming and shall beginne to beat the men seruants, and maidens, and to eate and drinke, and to be drunken:

46 The Lord of that seruant will come in a day when hee looketh not for him, and at an houre when hee is not ware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the vnbeleeuers.

47 And that seruant which knew his Lords will, and prepared not himselfe, neither did according to his will, shalbe beaten with many stripes.

48 But hee that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall bee beaten with few stripes. For vnto whomsoeuer much is giuen, of him shal bee much required: and to whom men haue committed much, of him they will aske the more.

49 I am come to send fire on the earth, and what will I, if it be already kindled?

50 But I haue a baptisme to be baptized with, and how am I straitned till it be accomplished?

51 Suppose yee that I am come to giue peace on earth? I tell you, Nay, but rather diuision.

52 For from henceforth there shalbe fiue in one house diuided, three against two, and two against three.

53 The father shall bee diuided against the sonne, and the sonne against the father: the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother: the mother in lawe against her daughter in lawe, and the daughter in law against her mother in lawe.

54 And he said also to the people, When ye see a cloud rise out of the West, straightway yee say, There commeth a showre, and so it is.

55 And when ye see the Southwind blow, ye say, There will be heat, and it commeth to passe.

56 Ye hypocrites, ye can discerne the face of the skie, and of the earth: but how is it that yee doe not discerne this time?

57 Yea, and why euen of your selues iudge ye not what is right?

58 When thou goest with thine aduersary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, giue diligence that thou mayest be deliuered from him, lest hee hale thee to the Iudge, and the Iudge deliuer thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison.

59 I tell thee, Thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast payd the very last mite.

Viewing the original 1611 KJV with archaic English spelling
Click to switch to the Standard KJV.


Commentary for Luke 12

Christ reproves the interpreters of the law. (1-12) A caution against covetousness The parable of the rich man. (13-21) Worldly care reproved. (22-40) Watchfulness enforced. (41-53) A warning to be reconciled to God. (54-59)1-12 A firm belief of the doctrine of God's universal providence, and the extent of it, would satisfy us when in peril, and encourage us to trust God in the way of duty. Providence takes notice of the meanest creatures, even of the sparrows, and therefore of the smallest interests of the disciples of Christ. Those who confess Christ now, shall be owned by him in the great day, before the angels of God. To deter us from denying Christ, and deserting his truths and ways, we are here assured that those who deny Christ, though they may thus save life itself, and though they may gain a kingdom by it, will be great losers at last; for Christ will not know them, will not own them, nor show them favour. But let no trembling, penitent backslider doubt of obtaining forgiveness. This is far different from the determined enmity that is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall never be forgiven, because it will never be repented of.

13-21 Christ's kingdom is spiritual, and not of this world. Christianity does not meddle with politics; it obliges all to do justly, but wordly dominion is not founded in grace. It does not encourage expectations of worldly advantages by religion. The rewards of Christ's disciples are of another nature. Covetousness is a sin we need constantly to be warned against; for happiness and comfort do not depend on the wealth of this world. The things of the world will not satisfy the desires of a soul. Here is a parable, which shows the folly of carnal worldling while they live, and their misery when they die. The character drawn is exactly that of a prudent, worldly man, who has no grateful regard to the providence of God, nor any right thought of the uncertainty of human affairs, the worth of his soul, or the importance of eternity. How many, even among professed Christians, point out similar characters as models for imitation, and proper persons to form connexions with! We mistake if we think that thoughts are hid, and thoughts are free. When he saw a great crop upon his ground, instead of thanking God for it, or rejoicing to be able to do more good, he afflicts himself. What shall I do now? The poorest beggar in the country could not have said a more anxious word. The more men have, the more perplexity they have with it. It was folly for him to think of making no other use of his plenty, than to indulge the flesh and gratify the sensual appetites, without any thought of doing good to others. Carnal worldlings are fools; and the day is coming when God will call them by their own name, and they will call themselves so. The death of such persons is miserable in itself, and terrible to them. Thy soul shall be required. He is loth to part with it; but God shall require it, shall require an account of it, require it as a guilty soul to be punished without delay. It is the folly of most men, to mind and pursue that which is for the body and for time only, more than that for the soul and eternity.

22-40 Christ largely insisted upon this caution not to give way to disquieting, perplexing cares, #Mt 6:25-34|. The arguments here used are for our encouragement to cast our care upon God, which is the right way to get ease. As in our stature, so in our state, it is our wisdom to take it as it is. An eager, anxious pursuit of the things of this world, even necessary things, ill becomes the disciples of Christ. Fears must not prevail; when we frighten ourselves with thoughts of evil to come, and put ourselves upon needless cares how to avoid it. If we value the beauty of holiness, we shall not crave the luxuries of life. Let us then examine whether we belong to this little flock. Christ is our Master, and we are his servants; not only working servants, but waiting servants. We must be as men that wait for their lord, that sit up while he stays out late, to be ready to receive him. In this Christ alluded to his own ascension to heaven, his coming to call his people to him by death, and his return to judge the world. We are uncertain as to the time of his coming to us, we should therefore be always ready. If men thus take care of their houses, let us be thus wise for our souls. Be ye therefore ready also; as ready as the good man of the house would be, if he knew at what hour the thief would come.

41-53 All are to take to themselves what Christ says in his word, and to inquire concerning it. No one is left so ignorant as not to know many things to be wrong which he does, and many things to be right which he neglects; therefore all are without excuse in their sin. The bringing in the gospel dispensation would occasion desolations. Not that this would be the tendency of Christ's religion, which is pure, peaceable, and loving; but the effect of its being contrary to men's pride and lusts. There was to be a wide publication of the gospel. But before that took place, Christ had a baptism to be baptized with, far different from that of water and the Holy Spirit. He must endure sufferings and death. It agreed not with his plan to preach the gospel more widely, till this baptism was completed. We should be zealous in making known the truth, for though divisions will be stirred up, and a man's own household may be his foes, yet sinners will be converted, and God will be glorified.

54-59 Christ would have the people to be as wise in the concerns of their souls as they are in outward affairs. Let them hasten to obtain peace with God before it is too late. If any man has found that God has set himself against him concerning his sins, let him apply to him as God in Christ reconciling the world to himself. While we are alive, we are in the way, and now is our time.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Luke 12

  • RSK
    "...for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." To often we wonder about the millionaires and billionaires in this world and look up to them in awe, but that is not how God looks at us. Seek God first and he will supply all our needs. What a powerful message.
  • Stephen Botts
    Verse 25: "And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?"

    This does not mean adding height. This means that by taking thought, you cannot prolong your life. You can't add one second to your life, so the Lord Jesus warns us to be ready always.
  • A disciple
    "And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?" The thoughts of men are that their possessions and wealth make their greatness: and so idolatry is one of the root sins and causes of all evil in the world. Neither our possessions nor our vain thinking makes us anything more than men.
  • Emanuel Fernandes
    I dont know what means but its not purgatory or reincarnation or anything between heaven and hell( apart from your physical life) its appointed of men once to die after this the judgement its heaven or hell thats it!
  • A disciple
    Paul; clearly the Lord here is talking about repentance and forgiveness, and having the wisdom to be prepared to meet our Maker! It only distracts from the intended point to try to find hidden meanings in things like whether this is referring to Purgatory. A good rule for understanding the Scriptures is to read them with respect to the whole context of what was written and apply that to ourselves.
  • Paul
    Is verse 59 referring to a pergatory? If not, what does it mean?

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