Outline of the Gospel of Luke ~ Chapter 12:
2. Concerning covetousness, Luke 12:13-34.
This is the second major topic of Chapter 12. This discussion and following parable are unique to Luke. They are dominated by the first-person pronoun, which shows the selfishness and self-focus of the worldly person who is condemned here, not for being rich but for the selfish way in which his bountiful crop is used. The parable serves as a warning against covetousness and greed.
I. Instruction in the Light of Rejection, Luke 12:1-19:27.
1. Concerning hypocrisy, Luke 12:1-12.
2. Concerning covetousness, Luke 12:13-34.
3. Concerning faithfulness, Luke 12:35-48.
4. Concerning division and signs, Luke 12:49-59.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Luke 12:13, “Someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me”.”
“Divide,” is the Verb MERIZO, μερίζω, “divide, separate, share, distribute, or apportion.” It is used by Matthew and Mark and this is the only occurrence of Luke using it. It is in the Aorist, Active, Imperative. That means this man was ordering Jesus what to do. Notice he called Jesus “teacher,” DIDASKOLOS which indicates his lack of full understanding as to who Jesus was. He was not viewing Him as his Lord and Savior.
The thing this man wanted divided by Jesus’ authority was his “inheritance,” which is the Noun KLERONOMIA, κληρονομία that means, “inheritance, possession, or portion.” Although it is used literally here, it is mostly used throughout the Epistles for the inheritance the believers will receive in the eternal state, Gal 3:18; Eph 1:14, 18; 5:5; Col 3:24; Heb 9:15; 11:8; 1 Peter 1:4.
Col 3:24, “Knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”
Heb 9:15, “For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”
1 Peter 1:4, “To obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.”
Therefore, we see the contrast and object lesson. This man was coveting / lusting for, concerned, and worrying about his earthly / materialistic inheritance, rather than the eternal inheritance God provides through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Luke 12:14, “But He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?””
“Appointed,” is the Aorist, Active, Indicative of the Verb KATHISTĒMI, καθίστημι that means, “bring or set, appoint, ordain, make, cause, or designate.”
This appointment in question is that Jesus was to be the “judge or arbitrator.” Judge is the Noun KRITES, κριτής that means, “A judge or decider.” This harkens back to the time of Israel being ruled by Judges, not kings. In the Septuagint, KRITES is also used in a special sense referring to the leaders God raised up in the period between Joshua and King Saul, the time of the “judges.” These leaders did act as judges over lawsuits, so “judge” is not an inappropriate title for them, but this was only one of their functions. Yet, even in Jesus’ day the Scribes/Lawyers and religious leaders would act as judges for the people in the cities.
This word is also used of God in many places. An example is in Hebrews where it says “to God the Judge of all,” Heb 12:23.
Heb 12:23, “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect.”
Therefore, even though Jesus is the Judge of all as God, this was not His role during His incarnation in the First Advent. Though judges were a major part of Jewish leadership and society, Jesus did not come to judge regarding earthly materials but heavenly ones.
“Arbitrator,” is the noun MERISTES, μεριστής that means, “a divider, arbitrator, or distributor.” It is only used here in the NT. This is a more general term of an officiant in Jesus’ day who could decide these types of matters. Yet, Jesus did not come to deal with earthly things and matters. He came to provide spiritual life with a heaven eternal inheritance.
This discussion allowed Jesus to then expand on the greater principles of greed and covetousness in vs. 15.
Luke 12:15, “And He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions”.”
“Beware and be on your guard,” in the Greek is actually, “see and keep yourselves,” HORAO KAI PHULASSO, “guard, defend, watch over, protect, keep safe, guard against, or avoid.” It is in the Present, Middle, Imperative for a command from our Lord.
Our Lord counters this arrogant man’s demand of Him with a command for us all to heed. It is a command to guard “against every form of greed,” using the Noun PLEONEXIA, πλεονεξία that means, “greediness, avarice, or covetousness.” It is an unreasonably strong desire to obtain and keep money. It is a compound word from PLEON, “more,” and ECHO, “to have,” that means “greediness” or even “arrogance” in classical Greek. It indicates an “excess” of any kind. It also means “covetousness” or “grasping ambition.”
In the NT, it is a manifestation of man’s fallen nature, (the Old Sin Nature), and consequently is linked to idolatry, i.e., placing man or the things of man ahead of the Creator. Although covetousness can have many different objects including sexual lusts, here it is used for material things; material lusts. In addition, covetousness was regarded by the Jews as an extremely heinous sin; a characteristic of pagans who were separated from God.
In the Hebrew, “covet” is the Verb CHAMADH that means, “to desire or to take pleasure in.” It was first used in the positive sense in Gen 2:9, for God’s creation of trees for food, including the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It is then used in Gen 3:6, in the negative sense, for the woman’s lusting of the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, when tempted by Satan. In that sense, CHAMAD emphasizes lusting based on the beauty of the object. So, we see that coveting led to the first sin in mankind and human history, and is the basis of all sin and crimes.
The third time it is used in the OT, is for the 10th of the Ten Commandments in Ex 20:17, which is also the same in Deut 5:21. Here, we see the breadth of this sin from lusting after material things to immoral sexuality, i.e., the thought of adultery or fornication.
Ex 20:17, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
Deut 5:21, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field or his male servant or his female servant, his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
The final commandment in the Decalogue, reemphasizes the individual’s rights of privacy, property, person, and possessions. This is the 6th of the horizontal commandments that primarily deals with man’s relationship with man. But, first and foremost, as all the commandments tell us, they have to do with our relationship with God. The previous commands implicitly forbid all acts that would harm or injure your neighbor; this forbids all inordinate inner desires of having what belongs to your neighbor that would presumably gratify yourself.
Therefore, in the Decalogue, it means, “to lust, to want somebody else’s property, a strong desire to possess something that belongs to somebody else, to yearn to have, and to want to have something very much inordinately, culpably, or without due regard for the rights of others.” Unlike the other commandments, which focus on outward actions, this commandment focuses on thought; the inward mentality of the soul. It is an imperative against setting one’s desire on things that are the property or ownership of someone else.
The NT describes Jesus as interpreting the Ten Commandments as issues of the heart’s desires, rather than merely prohibiting certain outward actions, cf. Mat 5:28.
Mat 5:27-28, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery;’ 28but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
In our passage, this man lusted after his brother’s inheritance. Remember, in Hebrew society, the eldest brother many times received all the inheritance or at least a double portion. Therefore, this supposedly younger brother would have received nothing. And, if he received a less portion, we see his jealousy of his older brother even more so, as he desired to have a greater portion than what he was allotted. Either way, he was sinfully lusting after what his brother rightly possessed.
In the 10th Commandment, there is a list of 7 things that are not to be coveted that belong to your neighbor or brother, with an 8th that is a catchall for any other property or goods belonging to others: 1) house, 2) wife, 3) land, 4) male servant, 5) female servant, 6) ox, 7) donkey, and 8) anything that belongs to him. It shows the breath of what this commandment covers. Nevertheless, this is one commandment with 8 examples of inordinate desire or lust.
Seven is the number of “spiritual perfection” in the Bible. Therefore, if we do not covet what our neighbor owns, we can walk in God’s light and righteousness, cf., Rom 13:9.
Rom 13:9, “For this, “You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”.”
Eight is the number of “superabundance” in the Bible, and here reflects God’s provisions for each individual that should not be coveted by another. Therefore, we are to be content with what we have been given by God and not sinfully desire the things others possess.
Interestingly, in the NT, there are ten instances of the Noun PLEONEXIA, Mark 7:22; Luke 12:15; Rom 1:29; 2 Cor 9:5; Eph 4:19; 5:3; Col 3:5; 1 Thes 2:5; 2 Peter 2:3, 14. Ten is the number of Divine Order. Mark includes PLEONEXIA in Jesus’ list of the unclean proceedings from the heart, cf. Mark 7:22. Luke more explicitly qualifies PLEONEXIA as the desire to accumulate possessions and wealth.
Mark 7:21-22, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.”
Eph 5:3, “But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.”
Col 3:5, “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.”
Of the false teachers of false doctrine, Paul states in 2 Peter 2:3, 14, “And in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”
2 Peter 2:14, “Having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children.”
Therefore, PLEONEXIA is an outcome of pure selfishness, and easily leads to dishonesty and deceit. The man ruled by PLEONEXIA considers his fellowman to exist solely for his own profit. Also, the heart that is covetous lives for the present moment, whereas in contrast, the Christian lives for the future, and their great inheritance in heaven.
The 10th Commandment makes clear that a relationship with God and man is a matter of the heart, first and foremost. As such, the 1st and 10th Commandments deal with what is in the heart, while the other eight focus on outward actions that begin in the heart. And, as we have seen, covetousness is about the heart. It is about desire.
Desire, coupled with the Old Sin Nature, (OSN), creates a pattern for sinning called the “lust pattern” of the sin nature. When someone has a desire for wealth, the lust pattern of the OSN tempts the soul in various forms of lasciviousness like greed, covetousness, materialism, appetite, and the desire for pleasure.
Regarding the Law, Paul also stated in Rom 7:7, “What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet”.” Cf. Rom 13:9
Therefore, Jesus states in our verse, Luke 12:15, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”
Covetous people will break any and all of God’s commandments in order to satisfy their desires, because at the heart of sin is the sin in the heart, Mat 15:19.
Mat 15:19, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.”
To covet is to feed the inward desires for anything that God says is sinful, and this commandment highlights the twisted desires of mankind under the sin of discontentment. In fact, all crimes and sin can be described generally in terms of the desire that triggered the chain of events. Whatever action it spawns, this illegitimate desire for something that belongs to someone else is the core of the problem and a threat to the community. Any action taken to fulfil such a desire is sin.
As I heard a homicide detective once say, “all crimes are motivated by one of three things, money, sex / relationships, or power.” Coveting is behind them all, as noted in 1 John 2:16; 2 Peter 2:10; 1 Tim 6:10; Heb 13:5; cf. Gal 5:16.
1 John 2:16, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh (appetite) and the lust of the eyes (beauty) and the boastful pride of life (ambitious pride), is not from the Father, but is from the world”
2 Peter 2:10, “And especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, …”
1 Tim 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
Heb 13:5, “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have…”
Gal 5:16, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” Cf. 1 Tim 6:6-10.
And as our Lord stated, “For not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”
Luke 12:16, “And He told them a parable, saying, ‘The land of a rich man was very productive’.”
Jesus tells the people a parable of a “rich man” PLOUSIOS ANTHROPOS, as an object lesson for how the riches or wealth of this life can often be distracting to one’s relationship with the Lord and lead the owner to being delusional about what truly matters in this life and the one to come, cf. Luke 6:24; 14:12; 16:1; 19-22; 18:23-25; 19:2; 21:1.
“Very productive,” uses the Verb EUPHOREO, εὐφορέω that is only used here in the NT that means, “be fruitful, fertile, producing plenty.” It comes from the prefix EU, “good or well,” and PHERO, “to produce, bring, bear, etc.” The thing that this rich man caused to be very productive was the “land,” CHORA, “land, field, etc.” He was a good farmer and had a very productive crop and or cattle.
Luke 12:17, “And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’”
“Began reasoning to himself,” uses the Imperfect, Middle Deponent, Indicative of the Verb DIALOGIZOMAI with EN HEAUTOU. The Imperfect of DIALOGIZOMAI means incomplete or continuous action of “considering, discussing, or pondering.” In other words, he continuously was pondering his good fortune and wealth. He was continuously occupied with self and his possessions as he uses “I” or “my” 11 times in vs. 17-19. He is concerned only with himself. He has no sense of his responsibility to God or others, nor the reality of death lingering nearby.
When we are continuously occupied with things, we are not occupied with the Lord Jesus Christ, as we should be, and the thing(s) we are occupied with can become an idol in our lives.
Here, he was preoccupied with the abundance of his crops where he had more than he could store up. The word for “store,” is SUNAGO that here means, “to gather together,” and “crops,” is actually the Noun KARPOS that means, “fruit, produce, results, etc.” Unfortunately, this is not the “fruit of the Spirit,” for Divine good production, but his human good works where he had a bumper crop from his farming exploits.
He was so impressed with the crops that his land produced that his thoughts were not to give thanks to God, but rather, “I have more than I can currently store, which is a problem I need to figure out.”
Luke 12:18, “Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods’.”
This is operation human solution. Because this man had an abundance of crops, he decided to tear down his current barns and build bigger ones. Rather, than thanking God for this great bounty and sharing it with others who would have a need, this man thought first and foremost to horde it for himself. Rather than trusting that just as God gave to him this year, He would also be gracious and give to him next year, this man thought to store up all that he was given this year, so he would not have to worry about next year.
Isa 56:12, “Come,” they say, “let us get wine, and let us drink heavily of strong drink; and tomorrow will be like today, only more so.”
The Greek for “tear down,” is Verb KATHAIREO, καθαιρέω in the Future, Active, Indicative that means, “take down, tear down, destroy, or demolish.” The things he would tear down are his current “barns,” APOTHEKE, ἀποθήκη, “barn, storehouse, garner, or granary,” cf. Luke 12:24; Mat 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?”
Interestingly, in the NT, KATHAIREO is used nine times. Four of those instances refer to the taking down of the body of Christ from the Cross, Mark 15:36, 46; Luke 23:53; Acts 13:29. As such, this man was not occupied with Christ, but was occupied with his worldly possessions.
Also, three references in the NT, speak to God destroying nations, mighty men, and cults to fulfill His will, Luke 1:52; Acts 13:19; 19:27. This could also include the taking down of pride, arrogance, etc. As such, our Lord was using this rich farmer as an object lesson of pride and arrogance that would be taken down by God, cf. vs. 20.
This word is also used by Paul in 2 Cor 10:5, to exhort believers to cast down “imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.” As such, this man was exalting the works of his hand and trusting in himself rather than giving thanks to God for His provisions and trusting in Him to provide in the future.
In addition, this term is used in Luke 1:52, for God sovereignty and might over the mighty of this world, “He (God) has brought down rulers from their thrones.”
Therefore, in our verse, the rich farmer who tore down his barns was acting quite foolishly without regard for His Creator, Provider, and Savior.
So, with his preoccupation with self, he decided to tear down his smaller storehouses and “build larger ones,” OIKODOMEO MEIZON, so he could “store all his grain and goods,” SUNAGO PAS HO SITOS and KAI HO AGATHOS EGO.
Many times in the NT, AGATHOS is used for “Divine Good,” “The Fruit of the Spirit,” or “good of intrinsic value,” that are rewardable by God in both time and eternity, but here this man thought that his abundance of material possession was his “good things.” As a result of this wrong mental attitude, this good is turned into evil, as it becomes an arrogance of exalting one’s self.
Luke 12:19, “And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry’.”
Notice that this man speaks to his “soul,” PSUCHE, and not to his “spirit.” That indicates that he either does not have a spiritual life or does not care about his spiritual life. He is a PSUCHE man, meaning a worldly man inside of Satan’s cosmic system.
In his self-exaltation, he believes he has “many good things,” POLUS AGATHOS, “laid up for many years,” KEIMAI EIS POLOUS ETOS. KEIMAI is a Verb in the Present, Middle Deponent, Participle that means, “to lie, be laid, recline, set, establish, etc.” Therefore, rather than laying a foundation on his soul that is based on Jesus Christ, 1 Cor 3:11, to produce Divine Good that is rewardable in the eternal state, this man laid the foundation of his soul on his material possessions that will be burnt up one day.
Because of pre-occupation with self, rather than occupation with the Lord Jesus Christ, it led to this man being deluded in the thought that his riches are all that he needs and will save him, as he states, “take your ease, eat, drink and be merry’.”
“Take your ease,” is the Present, Middle Imperative of the Verb ANAPAUO, ἀναπαύω that means, “rest, take one’s rest, give rest, or refresh (someone).” This is the only time Luke uses this word, but others use it in the Gospels and Epistles.
Here, it indicates that this man was thinking about taking an early retirement. He set his sights on retiring early instead of helping a struggling neighbor. He thought only of himself.
In fact, Matthew uses it regarding our Lord’s teaching in Mat 11:28, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Yet, rather than resting in the Lord, this man is resting on the knowledge of his material possessions. As the Word of God tells us, we should always rest in the Lord, so that one day we will rest for all of eternity, Rev 14:13, “And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them”.”
Philemon 1:20, “Yes, brother, let me benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.”
“Eat, drink, and be merry,” ESTHINO PINO EUPHRAINO, are all in the Aorist, Active, Imperative along with the Present Imperative of ANAPAUO above, to indicate self-mandates. This is the self-deception or deluding of the soul that this man had. He was convincing himself that based on his material possessions, he had nothing to worry about in the future and that all of his needs would be met. He was self-reliant and did not rely upon God, nor give thanks to Him. And rather than rejoicing in God and His logistical grace provisions, this man rejoiced in his materialism.
Luke 12:20, “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’”
Here, we see that God calls this man’s way of thinking foolish by saying “you fool,” APHRON, “foolish, inconsiderate, or rash.” In classical Greek is meant “senseless.” In the OT, it is used in contrast to the person who is wise. The fool is “ignorant” or acts contrary to wisdom, and hates knowledge, but loves haughtiness, Prov 1:22. The fool is also used to refer to the “transgressor,” the one who opposes God and His Law. It is the fool who says in his heart, “There is no God,” Psalm 14:1.
Psa 14:1, “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good.”
Luke first used APHRON in the NT, in Luke 11:40, “You foolish ones, did not He who made the outside make the inside also?” Cf. Eph 5:17.
Eph 5:17, “So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
Our Lord then states that “this very night your soul is required of you.” Obviously, this means the man was going to die that night, but it also indicates from the word for “required,” APAITEO, an intensification of AITEO, that God is the determiner of the day, time, and manner of one’s death. It indicates that life is a gift from God and that He may choose to require it at any time.
Being a foolish person, he did not give credence to God regarding his life, yet the wise person considers carefully the transitory nature of his earthly life and the sovereignty of God as its giver. Because this man trusted in his earthly possessions as the sustainer of his life, he did not appreciate that it was a gift given by God nor trust in Him for all aspects of it.
Then our Lord speaks to the consequences, “and now who will own what you have prepared?’” The Greek literally states, “And to whom shall it be what you have prepared.”
This man worked hard to produce the bumper crop that supplied him an abundance for his lifetime. Yet, his life is now over and it was all for not, because someone else will benefit by his labor, while he does not. For all his planning, the man failed to plan for the one, universal, 100% certain event each person must face: death. The Lord did not require grain, money, or possessions; He required the man’s soul. And, ironically, others would enjoy the financial bounty of his planned early retirement.
Instead of being occupied with the Lord Jesus Christ and producing Divine Good that is rewardable at the BEMA Seat of Jesus Christ, this man was focused on self and produced materialism that he could not take to the eternal state. As the TV show called “Strange Inheritances” says at the conclusion of each episode, “You can’t take it with you.” Rather than focusing on the treasure of Christ that is everlasting, he focused on the earthly treasure that is but fleeting.
Psa 39:6, “Surely every man walks about as a phantom; surely they make an uproar for nothing; he amasses riches and does not know who will gather them.”
Luke 12:21, “So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
Here, our Lord states the stark reality of opportunity lost. This man “stored up treasures for himself,” THERAURIZO HEAUTO. The Verb THERAURIZO, θησαυρίζω means, “gather, store up or reserve.” In classical Greek, it also meant, “to keep or hoard.” Therefore, if we do not store up the treasure that is founded in God because we are preoccupied with the materialism of this world, we will find misery and suffer loss in the eternal state, James 5:1-3; Rev 3:17.
James 5:1-3, “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. 2Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. 3Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!”
Rev 3:17, “Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.”
Here, the rich “heaped” or “hoarded” wealth thinking it would bring them security and peace in the “last days;” instead it brought them misery. The implication is that their misery is brought upon by God’s judgment, and the one who “lays up” material things has eternal consequences, because he “is not rich toward God,” ME PLOUTEO EIS THEOS.
“Rich,” is the Verb PLOUTEO πλουτέω that means, “to be rich, wealthy.” In the 12 instances it is used in the NT, many times it has a figurative meaning, frequently suggesting spiritual liberality or fullness, cf. 1 Cor 4:8.
1 Cor 4:8, “You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you.”
Yet, in our verse, this man was “not,” ME, rich towards God. He was so concerned with his earthly riches that he ignored God. Therefore, the principle is, only by “laying up” treasures in heaven will the believer be rewarded by the Father, Mat 6:20.
Mat 6:20-21, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Mat 12:35, “The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.”
Mat 13:44, “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
Rom 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
Mat 19:21, “Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me”.”
2 Cor 4:7, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.”
In 1 Tim 6:19, God exhorts us to, “Store up for ourselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that we may take hold of that which is life indeed.”
Therefore, this key question of the parable makes a few points. All the effort to build a self-focused life does us no good in eternity when God calls us to account. The person who will not own what he or she has built up is the fool who incorrectly thought it was his or hers all along. So, the exhortation is to be rich toward God, perhaps even to give to God the same kind of attention this man gave to his possessions.
Psalm 49:16-20, “Be not afraid when a man becomes rich, when the glory of his house increases. 17For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not go down after him. 18For though, while he lives, he counts himself blessed —and though you get praise when you do well for yourself— 19his soul will go to the generation of his fathers, who will never again see light. 20Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.”
1 Tim 6:17, “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.” So, the question is, are you going to live life for yourself or toward God? A life directed toward God is likewise a life led by the Holy Spirit and spiritual motivation. This God-centered life is contrary to the life lived “for self,” which panders after material wealth and possessions, and is in fact lived in bondage to wealth, Luke 16:13. Therefore, this parable confronts us with the claim of exclusive loyalty either to God or to self.
“The man had stored up treasure for himself, which robbed him of a rich relationship with God. Clearly, there is a conflict between self-interest and dependence on God. If one looks to earthly treasure for security, sustenance, or significance, one will not seek satisfaction from God. And, according to this parable, it’s dangerous to seek security in anything but the Lord. Consequently, it can be said that a person is not ready to live until they’re ready to die.” (Swindoll’s Living Insights New Testament Commentary – Luke.)
In vs. 22-34, our Lord gives several object lessons as to why we should not covet material possession and instead trust in God to provide for the things we need. Vs. 22-31, are once again a portion of His teachings found in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew that shows up as a single teaching in Luke, cf. Mat 6:25-33.
Luke 12:22-23, “And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. 23For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing”.”
“Do not worry,” uses the Greek negative ME with the Present, Active, Imperative of the Verb MERIMNAO μεριμνάω that means, “be anxious, care for, or be concerned about.” We will see it again in vs. 25-26. Luke has previously used this word in Luke 10:41, as our Lord instructed Martha not to be so worried about the details of life, and in this chapter, vs. 11, for instruction to the disciples to not be worried about what to say when persecuted, cf. Phil 4:6.
Phil 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Therefore, our Lord instructs us to not worry about or be anxious for anything in our “life,” PSUCHE, that typically is translated “soul,” but can also mean our life. With this word it emphasized our physical earthly life, our soulish life, as opposed to our spiritual life. As such, it emphasizes the physical and material things that we need during our life that we should never worry about. Instead, we should be trusting / faith-resting in God to provide for these things, which we also call our “Logistical Grace blessings.”
Logistics is a term both military and civilian companies use to refer to the science of supply, provision, and planning of troop or equipment movement. Logistics is the provision, movement, and maintenance of all resources and services necessary to sustain military forces and supply goods and services as need. Logistics is also defined as the science of planning, handling, and implementation of personnel under every possible condition. It includes the design, development, acquisition, storage, movement, distribution, maintenance, evacuation, and disposal of material. In the military, it includes hospitalization of personnel and the construction and maintenance of housing facilities. From this nomenclature comes a Bible Doctrine based on analogy.
Logistics always plays a very important and dramatic part in the military and industry, but it plays an even greater part in your life as a believer. Every believer is alive today because of Logistical Grace.
The word “logistics” comes from two Greek words:
- LOGISTES, an inspector of accounts, an auditor, a calculator, or teacher of arithmetic.
- LOGISMOS, a counting, reckoning, calculation, computation, etc.
In the spiritual life, Logistical Grace is defined as Divine planning, Divine support, Divine provision, and Divine blessing for the execution of the Plan of God by the Royal Family for the fulfillment of God’s will, purpose, and plan for your life inside of the Angelic Conflict.
Logistical Grace includes three factors of Divine provision:
- Life Support is provided for every Church Age believer. This explains how and why we are alive every moment. The only reason we are alive is because of God’s logistical grace towards you. We do not earn or deserve it and there is no work we can accomplish to keep ourselves alive. Cf. Luke 12:25, “And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span?”
- Blessing is provided for every Church Age believer, both winners and loser. This dramatizes the justice of God, in that the justice of God sends life support to every believer, both winner and loser believers, as a blessing from God. This emphasizes God’s grace. You are alive only because of the grace of God, not because of anything you do. Yet, winners utilize God’s logistical grace to advance in the spiritual life and glorify Him in time, while loser believers coast on it, and never utilize it to grow or serve to His glory.
- Divine provision is provided for every Church Age believer to execute the Plan of God. This includes your daily food, clothing, shelter, and Bible Doctrine. All doctrine comes from the prepared Pastor-Teacher. If you have persistent positive volition, you will find doctrine and your right Pastor-Teacher.
The basis of Logistical Grace is Divine integrity. God is infinite, eternal, and absolute holiness, which may be classified as Divine integrity or absolute unchangeable Divine virtue. The integrity of God is composed of His perfect righteousness and justice. As such, God will always provide for the believer regardless of the believer’s volitional response to God because God’s grace is based on who and what He is, not who and what the believer is. Because of God’s perfect integrity, He will always provide Logistical Grace blessings to the believer. This means God will support and sustain you regardless of how deserving or undeserving you are.
At the moment anyone believes in Jesus Christ as their Savior, they receive the imputation of Divine righteousness. It is that perfect nature in you that God is able to bless, which means He is able to provide you with all the logistics necessary to sustain your life. Therefore, the indwelling righteousness of God in you is the recipient of all life support and all blessing from God.
2 Cor 9:8, defines logistical grace for us. “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything (logistical grace support and blessing), you may have an abundance for every good deed, (i.e., good of intrinsic value production).”
Besides providing life support and blessing, logistical grace is for the perception and execution of the Plan of God for your life. Everything is provided, so that every believer has equal privilege and equal opportunity to execute God’s plan and glorify Him. As a part of this aspect of logistical grace, the following assets are given to us.
- The creation of a human spirit at the moment of salvation.
- The teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit: GAP plus GPS.
- The provision in every generation of x-number of male believers with the gift of Pastor-Teacher. This gift is a part of logistical grace to communicate bible doctrine to you.
Logistical grace includes six categories of support:
1. Life-Sustaining Support provided by God. God sustains the life of every believer on earth. No believer can depart from life apart from God’s will. Therefore, all the forces of hell cannot remove one believer apart from God’s permission. God also provides all that it takes to support life.
Psa 48:14, “This God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even unto death.” Cf., Lam 3:20-25.
2. Temporal Needs such as food, shelter, clothing, transportation, environment, time, a job, etc. are provided by God, Mat 6:25-33; Luke 12:23-34; Phil 4:19.
Phil 4:19, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
3. Security Provision as taught in the doctrine of Eternal Security. Your security is from God. This includes the assignment of guardian angels, Psa 91:7-14; Mat 18:10; Heb 1:13-14, and the provision of the laws of Divine Establishment for freedom to advance to maturity. These laws are found in the civil institutes of the Law and other NT Scriptures related to dealings in society. The pillars behind these laws are the four Divine Institutions that includes, 1) Freedom of Volition, 2) Marriage [one man to one woman], 3) Family, and 4) Nationalism.
If positive to Bible doctrine, God provides the security for you to make that advance, as in the wall of fire, Zech 2:5.
Zech 2:5, “For I,” declares the LORD, “will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst”.”
1 Peter 1:5, “We are kept by the power of God.”
4. Spiritual Riches are provided by God, such as our Portfolio of Invisible Assets, the Eleven Problem Solving Devices, and the unique factors of the Church Age. It also includes the provision of doctrinal teaching from your right Pastor, privacy and security necessary to maintain positive volition, the Royal Family Honor Code, and discernment to see distractions and set them aside. Spiritual provision of an Evangelist, a Pastor, the privacy of your priesthood, the canon, and a local church are all provided for you.
Eph 1:3, “Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing.”
5. Equal Privilege and Equal Opportunity. These blessings are given to every believer, both winners and losers. These are not to be confused with escrow blessings which are far greater.
6. God preserves us from death, Psa 33:18; 56:13; 116:8; Heb 2:14.
Psa 33:18, “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear (respect) Him, on those who wait for His lovingkindness (grace) to deliver their soul from death, and to keep alive in famine (depression).”
Psa 56:13, “For you have delivered my soul from death, indeed my feet from stumbling, that I may walk with God in the light of life.” To walk with God in the light of life means you know about logistical grace so that you appreciate it and therefore utilize it.
Psa 116:8, “You have rescued my soul from death.”
Heb 2:14, “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.”
Heb 12:28, “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe.”
1 Peter 5:12, “I have written to you briefly exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.”
2 Cor 6:1, “Do not receive the grace of God in vain.
Heb 12:15, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God…”
Therefore, in this passage and Mat 6, there are four commands of what not to worry about: 1) Life, 2) Clothing, 3) Food and Drink, 4) Tomorrow. We are commanded not to worry because God, in logistical grace, will provide for us, regardless of our spiritual status. Remember that Logistical Grace is for winners and losers.
The principle from the first command is that there is no meter on God’s grace. You cannot measure God’s grace and it has no limits. As such, Jesus then gives several analogies beginning with vs. 24-26, regarding food and sustenance provision by God, and then in vs. 27-28, regarding clothing provisions under our Logistical Grace blessings from God.
Luke 12:24, “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!”
“Consider” is the Aorist, Active, Imperative of the Verb KATANOEO that is a compound word from KATA, “according to,” and NOEO, “perceive, understand, realize, think over, etc.” It is an emphatic verb that means, “perceive, consider, notice, or observe carefully.” Luke used it in Luke 6:41, for the discussion on not judging your neighbor; “the speck versus the log in the eye,” analogy. He will also use it in vs. 27, and in Luke 20:23, for Jesus’ perception of the craftiness of spies sent to test Him with questions. Therefore, it tells us that we need to carefully perceive and discern God’s word so that we can apply it in faith-rest to our lives.
“Ravens,” is the Noun KORAX that means, “crow or raven.” It is only used here in the NT. Matthew uses a more generic term, “birds of the air,” PETEINON with HOURANOS, “heaven or sky.” Luke uses PETEINON at the end of this passage.
KORAX’s are a black bird known for existing by feeding off the carcasses of dead animals. It was highly detested in both Greek and Semitic cultures. So, the analogy is, “If God would provide for these detestable birds, how much more will He provide for you!” Cf. Job 38:41; Psa 147:9.
Job 38:41, “Who prepares for the raven its nourishment when its young cry to God and wander about without food?”
Psalm 147:9, “He gives to the beast its food, and to the young ravens which cry.”
Therefore, those in the kingdom of God are challenged to draw encouragement from the way the Father provides so well for creatures that are detestable and of much less value than a child of the Kingdom.
The doctrine for discernment and to faith-rest in is, are you more important than a bird? If so, you are not to worry about the details of life and the sustenance necessary for life! As you may know fear, worry, anxiety, or apprehensions are all aspects of rejection or ignorance of God’s Logistical Grace provision. Yet, even when someone rejects God’s provisions, He continues to provide for them including the “detestable” losers of rewards believers who worry and have fear.
Principles of worrying and fear:
- The more things you surrender to fear, the more things you fear.
- The more things about which you worry, the more things you worry about.
- To the extent you surrender to fear, you increase the power of fear in your life.
- The extent to which you surrender to worry, you increase the power of worry in your life; yet God still keeps you alive.
- The more things that acquire the power of fear in your life, the greater your capacity for arrogance and becoming a loser believer.
- The more you acquire the power of worry in your life, the greater your capacity for worry and becoming a loser believer; yet God still supports you.
Jesus then stated about the ravens, “they do not sow, (SPEIRO) nor reap (THERIZO); they have no storeroom (TAMEION) nor barn (APOTHEKE), and yet God feeds (TREPHO) them.” These are in contrast to the rich farm from vs. 16-21. This does not tell us to stop working and that God will give us everything. It is an example from the animal kingdom of how God provides for our every need daily, where we do not have to worry about today’s provisions, (sow and reaping), or tomorrows, (storerooms and barns).
Then we have the a-fortiori principle, “how much more valuable you are than the birds!” “Valuable,” is the Present, Active, Indicative of the Verb DIAPHERO, διαφέρω that means, “carry, spread, be worth more than, differ, or be different.” Luke records Jesus also using this word in vs. 7b, for the same principle, “Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.”
Therefore, we are to perceive and learn from the birds. If God provides for them, He absolutely will provide for me, His child!
Luke 12:25, “And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span?”
Here, we have the logic of incapacity. In other words, we truly do not have the capacity through worrying to provide for ourselves.
“Single hour” is actually the Greek Noun PECHUS that means, “cubit,” which is about 18 inches.
“Life span,” is the Noun HELIKIA that can mean, “age, maturity, stature, or size.” So combined, we have an idiom that means “who can add any measure to their length of life.” Here, we have an analogy of cubits to length of life, which is also seen in, Psa 39:5.
Psa 39:5, “Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths, and my lifetime as nothing in Your sight; Surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Selah.”
Therefore, the principle is: worry or anxious care cannot lengthen a man’s life or age by even a minute fraction of time. The point is, no one can use anxiety to their advantage with respect to adding days to their life. Hendriksen comments: “A man may worry himself to death; yet, he cannot worry himself into a longer span of life,” (New Testament Commentary, Luke, pp. 666f.). So, we see the futility of worrying or being anxious about what we will eat, drink, wear, or even for our life, as through them we can add nothing to our needs, as noted in vs. 26.
Luke 12:26 “If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?”
This is not meant to discourage the believer by thinking all is futile; rather, it is meant to provide the basis for living with confidence in a loving and trustworthy God who will care for you and provide for your needs.
Vs. 27-28, regarding clothing.
Luke 12:27-28, “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 28But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You of little faith!”
After giving an analogy regarding food and drink in vs. 24-26, Jesus then provides another analogy of the “lilies of fields,” in vs. 27-28, regarding His Logistical Grace provision for our clothing.
Here, we are told to “consider,” KATANOEO, once again. This time the object lesson or Bible Doctrine to consider is regarding the “lilies,” KRINON, that is only used here and in Mat 6:28. Jesus’ reference seems not to be to a specific type of lily but to the beautiful wildflowers of Palestine in general. In the OT, “lilies” are used for the capitals on Solomon’s pillars for his house and porch, 1 Kings 7:19, 22, 26, that speak of the End Times; the Brazen Altar Solomon built, 2 Chron 4:5, that speaks of the forgiveness of sins experientially; the tune set for various Psalms, Psa 45:1; 60:1; 69:1; 80:1, that speak of the Lord’s lovingkindness and provisions; and in Solomon’s Song of Songs 2:1-2, 16; 4:5; 5:13; 6:2-3; 7:2; and Hosea 14:5, that speaks of the love relationship between God/Jesus Christ and man.
Hosea 14:4-5, “I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from them. 5I will be like the dew to Israel; He will blossom like the lily, and he will take root like the cedars of Lebanon.”
So, the lily represents God’s loving provisions for the believer. He says, “see how they grow,” AUXANO, that means, “grow, increase, or become greater,” either physically or spiritually. Growing up each year and being so beautiful was not the result of their own work or efforts as Jesus states “they neither toil nor spin,” KOPIAO, “work hard or labor,” that denotes both physical and mental effort, and NETHO, that means, “to spin,” which is also only used here and Mat 6:28. Therefore, if we are like the lilies, our growth, physically and spiritually, is not caused by ourselves but by God.
As for “toiling and spinning,” in past times, it was the work of the women to spin the wool from animals into threads. From those threads they would make clothing. Therefore, “to toil and spin,” means to make your own clothes, which the women did in past times, yet the lilies do not do this.
A nuance that we take away from this is that this analogy was meant for the woman in crowd, as they were the typical “spin masters,” in past times. So, the ravens were analogous to men and lilies to women. As such, Jesus is giving analogies that are applicable to all of us, both men and women.
Also in analogy, lilies were a dime a dozen, a relatively worthless flower. In addition, lilies cannot perform manual labor to “spin” their own clothing. In fact, they had no say in how they were adorned. Instead, God himself provides them with a most beautiful covering. So, the main point is, if He so provides for and clothes the lilies, He will certainly not neglect the clothing needs of His own children. This is the faith-rest principle the believer is to discern.
To further emphasize God’s provisions under Logistical Grace blessings, Jesus compared the clothing of the lilies to that of King Solomon’s. As you know, he was the richest and most beautifully adorned king of Israel, “not even Solomon in all his glory (DOXA) clothed himself like one of these.”
Therefore, if God has adorned the lilies of the field more beautifully than the richest king of Israel, will He not provide you, His beloved child, with the clothing you need? The answer is, “yes He will,” which is the topic of vs. 28.
Luke 12:28, “But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You of little “
“If God so clothes the grass in the field,” tells us, using a first-class conditional “if,” EI, clause, (if and it’s true), that God clothes the grass of the fields with lilies more magnificent than any of King Solomon’s royal garments. This is what God the Creator and Provider does, just as He will provide clothing to you as part of His Logistical Grace blessings. This concludes the Doctrinal Promise we are to Faith-Rest in; God provides through Logistical Grace blessings.
In addition, Jesus speaks of the insignificance of the lilies, “today it grows and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace.” Furnace is the Greek word KLIBANOS that is only used here and in Mat 6:30. It was a small oven used for making bread where the withered grass was used to create the heat. So here, Jesus uses this analogy to contrast the exceeding value of your life as a child of God with such grass that is short-lived, temporary, and burnt up or destroyed with no lasting value. This is the same analogy of our human good works in 1 Cor 3:12-15, “Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”
In our passage, our Lord is telling us in analogy that men and women believers are very much more important to the Lord than any other thing that God is providing for, “how much more will He clothe you?” Using the Interrogative Pronoun POSOS with the Comparative Adverb MALLON, He is emphasizing “HOW MUCH MORE,” God loves us and will provide for us than any of His other creations that we can see every day being provided for.
Using the first class “if” statement, means since this is true, how much more will God provide for you under His Logistical Grace blessings? The rhetorical answer is, “He absolutely will.” That is the Doctrinal Principle we are to faith-rest in.
Jesus ends this object lesson, (doctrinal principle), with a poignant remark, “You of little faith!” There is no word for “men” here in the Greek, because it is addressed to both men and women. In fact, it is only one word in the Greek, the Adjective OLIGOPISTOS, ὀλιγόπιστος in the Nominative Plural that means, “one of little faith, or lacking trust.” It is a compound word from OLIGOS, “little, small, etc.” and PISTEUO, “faith, trust, have confidence in, etc.” This is Luke’s only use of the word. Matthew uses it four times in Mat 6:30; 8:26; 14:31; 16:8, all for those who have “little faith,” which means they might have had faith for salvation, but do not continue in faith by trusting that God will provide for their daily needs. In Mat 8:26, He rebukes the disciples during the storm at sea. In Mat 14:31, He rebukes Peter who began to sink after walking on water. And, in Mat 16:8, He warned the disciples of the false teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees that a person of little faith can fall prey to.
In our passage, Jesus is rebuking the people for not having faith in God’s Logistical Grace blessings to provide for their daily needs. This is in contrast to the worldly person who fends for themselves and does not trust in God, nor give thanks to Him, for all of His daily provisions, as we should.
Interestingly, Jesus is saying that the short-lived grasses are provided for by God, how much more will He provide for you, even when you have no faith in Him post-salvation. Again, the point is not to coast on faithlessness, but instead to have honor and praise to God as you faithfully trust in Him to provide for all of your needs, with thanksgiving. It is a lesson to rely upon the grace of God faithfully. This is the Doctrinal Rationale we are to faith-rest in.
Jesus then provides the Doctrinal Conclusion for us to faith-rest upon in vs. 29-31.
Luke 12:29-31, “And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. 30For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. 31But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.”
Jesus begins this passage with a command, “Do not seek,” using the Greek negative ME with Present, Active, Imperative of the Verb ZETEO, ζητέω that means, “seek, look for, wish for, desire, or inquire into or about.” Our Lord uses this word in comparison of what not to do, with what to do in vs. 31.
Here, we are not to seek after, lust after, or even desire the things we are to “eat,” PHAGO, what to “drink,” PINO, because God will provide what we need and with that we should be content, happy, and at peace.
In addition, we are commended, “do not keep on worrying,” which uses the Negative ME with the Present, Middle Deponent, Imperative of the Verb METEORIZOMAI, μετεωρίζομαι that means, “anxious, troubled, unsettled, doubtful, worried, or be in suspense.” It is only used here in the NT. In classical Greek, its figurative uses meant, “to be unsettled, anxious, tense, or to be suspended between fear and hope.” As such, that is a precarious place to be, and is one that is not faith-resting in God. Jesus uses this Imperative Mood of Prohibition for a mandate in general. It is related to what we eat and drink, but goes well beyond that in regards to all things. The Customary Present Tense is a prohibition of on-going action, “do not keep on worrying.” It could also be an Extending-from-Past Present that means they have been worrying in the past that has continued into the present where Jesus is now mandating that they stop this form of sinning going forward.
The contrasting example here is the “nations of the world,” ETHNOS KOSMOS, who “eagerly seek,” EPIZETEO, ἐπιζητέω in the Present, Active, Indicative that means, “search for, seek after, desire to know, wish for, demand, or desire.” In other words, do not be like those of the world, the unbelievers, those who are a part of Satan’s cosmic system.
Instead, the believer in Jesus Christ, is to trust in God, using the Doctrinal Rationale of the Essence of God, to provide for these things because you know that your heavenly, “Father knows that you need these things.” Knowing that God our Father knows what our needs are also means we know that He will provide those things for us. In the Essence of God Rationale, you know that God has known from eternity past what your daily needs would be, and as such has made provisions for you to receive what you need to continue in His will and plan for your life. “God knowing,” means “God will provide.” This is the Doctrinal Conclusion we come to, based on the Doctrinal Principle we faith-rest in by learning and applying His Word, to the glory of God.
Luke 12:31, “But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.”
Cf. Mat 6:33, which is the more well know passage, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Here, we are to ZETEO God’s “Kingdom,” BASILEIA, which He has granted to us from eternity past. When we do that, which also means to be Occupied with the Lord Jesus Christ, “these things will be added to you.”
In contrast to our worrying that cannot “add,” PROSTITHEMI, a single second to our lives, vs. 25, when we are occupied with the Lord Jesus Christ, all of our Logistical Grace blessings will be “added,” PROSTITHEMI, “to you.” This means that when we focus on Christ, we will recognize and receive God’s Logistical Grace blessings being poured out in our lives. Instead of rejecting our Logistical Grace blessings by seeking after the things of this world under our own human power, resources, and assets, when we seek God first, we will know that God will provide for our every need.
Therefore, in the Faith-Rest Drill we:
- Mix the promises of God with faith: i.e., Do not worry, I will provide your food, clothing, shelter, etc. – Logistical Grace blessings, vs. 22-23, 27-28a.
- Come to the Doctrine Rationales: If God as Creator and Provider so provides for the birds and grass, He will absolutely provide for me too, vs. 25-26, 28b.
- Come to a Doctrinal Conclusion: God will provide for me; therefore, I will not worry about these things, vs. 29-31.
Rom 8:31-32, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”
Job 29:14, “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban.”
In these passages, our Lord gives final supporting mandates to encourage the believer to live the faith-rest life. Both Luke and Matthew end this teaching with different encouragements or exhortations to trust in God and not worry about life’s situations. Luke’s is more extensive.
Matthew records in vs. 34, “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
The application of this verse is that it is absurd to be overanxious about a day that has not yet arrived, because you truly do not know what tomorrow will bring, or even if you will be alive, vs. 20. Worrying about tomorrow actually keeps you from giving the proper attention necessary to the needs and problems you face today. It can also keep you from expressing faith for God to meet today’s needs. It can keep you from seeking and receiving present guidance from the Holy Spirit and the Word, and keep you from seeking God’s righteousness experientially today.
Worrying about tomorrow can also cause you to do sinful things today that do not exemplify His righteousness in you. Therefore, it is better to be focused on today and your relationship with the Lord and let tomorrow worry about itself. Living faithfully with God your Father, Jesus as your Good Shepherd, and the Holy Spirit as a powerful Helper, will lead you to face both today and tomorrow with courage, inner peace, and happiness.
Worrying about tomorrow also tells us that you can so live in the past that you do not live today. Grace gives you the ability to live one day at a time, not handicapped by the past and not distracted by the future. Therefore, Logistical Grace emphasizes the principle of living today, and therefore fulfilling the principle of living one day at a time, and each day as unto the Lord.
Phil 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”
Luke 12:32, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”
In the first passage of Luke’s account, we have another mandate using the Greek negative Participle ME with Imperative Mood of the
Verb PHOBEO that means, “DO NOT – fear, be afraid, become terrified, etc.” This is one of the great enemies of the believer that God will protect us from.
In a loving phrase, Jesus addresses the believer as “little flock,” MIKROS POIMNION that means, “flock; flock of sheep or herd.” POIMNION is only used here and Acts 20:28-29; 1 Peter 5:2-3.
Acts 20:28-29, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;
1 Peter 5:2-3, “Shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.”
This is the only time Jesus Himself called the Church “little flock.” By calling us His flock, it means we are helpless to care or provide for, or defend ourselves. It places us to be completely dependent upon the shepherd. Being the flock of God places us directly under the rule and provision of the Great Shepherd of our faith, Jesus Christ, Heb 13:20; Micah 5:4, and it places us in the dependence of God to provide for our every need, which He does through our Logistical Grace blessings.
“Has chosen gladly,” uses the Aorist, Active, Indicative of the Verb EUDOKEO that means, “be well pleased, delight in, approve, or consent.” Therefore, God is well pleased to, “give you the Kingdom,” DIDOMI HUMEIS HO BASILEIA.
This emphasizes God’s desire “to freely give us all things,” Rom 8:32, including our daily needs through Logistical Grace blessings. Giving us His kingdom is our great blessing and it delights the Father to give His children His royal possession. If He has given us His royal possession, will He not also give us the daily needs that we have? When we realize this, then the world’s possessions and our needs lose their grip on us. That is why the Lord gives us applications in vs. 33.
Luke 12:33, “Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys.”
Here, we have another mandate from our Lord. This time it is to “sell your possessions,” using the Imperative Mood for the Verb POLEO that means, “sell or exchange,” with the Present, Active, Participle of the Verb HUPARCHO that means, “what you have or possess.” It means your material goods.
Then our Lord instructs to “give it to the poor,” with the Aorist, Active, Imperative of DIDOMI, “give,” and the Noun ELEEMOSUNE, ἐλεημοσύνη that means, “kind act, merciful, or alms.” It means give to those in need.
Acts 20:35, “In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”.”
Therefore, when we realize that God will provide for our every need through Logistical Grace blessings, we can use this life’s possessions to bless the needy, because we know the Father gives us a kingdom and a treasure that cannot be taken away, stolen, or decay.
As such, in contrast to heaping up worldly goods and materials possessions, our Lord instructs us with yet another Aorist, Active, Imperative to “make yourselves money belts,” using the noun BALLANTIA that means, purse or money-bag. Only Luke uses this word in the NT, in Luke 10:4; 12:33; 22:35-36. This type of money belt was not an earthly one but a spiritual or heavenly one “which does not wear out,” that literally says, “does not grow old,” PALAIOO.
In Luke 10:4, Jesus instructed the disciples to carry no money belts, because He wanted to increase their faith in God, as they would see how God would provide for them. This is similar in that as we trust in God to provide our Logistical Grace blessings, we are storing up heavenly treasures, i.e., rewards and blessings, because of our Divine Good production.
He then says this is “an unfailing treasure in heaven,” ANEKLEIPTOS, “unfailing, unceasing, unending, inexhaustible, uninterrupted,” THESAURUS, “treasury, storehouse, treasure receptacle,” EN HO HOURANOS.
He then gives two more qualifiers, “where no thief comes near nor moth destroys.” OUK KLEPTES EGIZO, “come near or approach,” and OUDE SES DIAPHTHEIRO, “destroy, ruin, or corrupt.” All of these tell us of the eternal nature of this kind of money belt, i.e., the rewards and blessings we will receive in the eternal state because of our Divine Good production here on earth through the faith-rest life.
As such, all of this is a call to not depend on the things and values of the world for our lives, and to free ourselves of those things that would ultimately hinder our faithful obedience to His call. This is similar to His calling of the rich young ruler in Luke 18:18-22.
Luke 18:22, “When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
Luke 12:34, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
“Treasure,” is once again the Noun THESAURUS, θησαυρός that means, “treasury, storehouse, treasure receptacle.” This word is used here and elsewhere for both earthly and heavenly treasure.
This is a similar analogy to what our Lord taught in Luke 6:45, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”
In both passages the type of treasure you are storing up for yourself is dependent upon your “heart,” KARDIA, which speaks to your soul and what is being built up in it. As such, what is in the heart of your soul determines your outlook and actions in life. If we are building up our heart with human viewpoint and sin, that is what comes forth in our words and our deeds, but if we are storing up Divine viewpoint based on having the Word of God resident within our soul and acting upon it, that is what will come forth in our lives. And it tells us that whichever one we are occupied with, that is where our heart will be, meaning that is what will influence our soul.
Therefore, Because God our Heavenly Father has given us His “kingdom,” our relationship with Him, based on His Word being resident within our soul, should rule our lives. Because, wherever God is exercising His rule, His kingdom is present. Once the rule of God becomes the priority of our life, then everything else takes its proper place.
Because of this reality, the people of God can hear the affirmation of Jesus in vs. 32, to “stop being afraid.” This is the special theme that Luke’s gospel brings to the believer, as he spoke about it all the way back in Chapter 1:13, 37, when the angel said to Zechariah, “Fear not…,” and as Gabriel said to Mary, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
As we could say, “based on where one deposits his money will depend the dividend he receives.” If we deposit it in the world, when Christ returns there will be no dividend paid out. But, if we deposit it in heaven, then when Christ returns there will be a dividend paid that will last for all of eternity.
“Show me a person who cannot give to others, and I’ll show you a person who does not believe the Father gives to him. Show me a person who cannot lend, and I’ll show you’re a person who doubts she has greater riches in the kingdom of heaven. Show me a person who cannot part with his things, and I’ll show you a person who does not believe the treasures of heaven are better. It’s that simple. Our life follows our treasure (v. 34). The key to life is to have “treasure in heaven” (v. 33) or to be “rich toward God” (v. 21). We do not live life for ourselves and what may be gained on this earthen ball. We have life to seek and know God.” (Christ-Centered Exposition – Exalting Jesus in Luke).
Therefore, this is a call to shift the balance of our perspective from building up and hording material possessions that we think will save us, to building up our souls with the Word of God to trust in Him for all of our needs. When we do, we will be able to more freely give of ourselves, (our time, talent, or treasure), to God and others for their salvation and edification. As a result, we will see that true giving (Divine Good Production) is the measure of true wealth and the accumulation of true blessings in time and eternity.
And the fact is, when we all lay on our death beds, the temporal things of this world will fade to the background. Issues will cease to be important, temporal causes will matter no more, career, money, power, possessions, hobbies, habits, and ambitions will all seem irrelevant. We must set aside what we think is important in this world for what is really important, which is our relationship with our God and Lord Jesus Christ, along with our eternal heavenly abode in the kingdom of God. That is where our heart should be!