Luke 12

Luke 12 has Jesus warning His disciples about hypocrisy, which the Pharisees and other religious leaders were guilty of.  Hypocrisy is like leaven in the sense that it only takes a little bit of it to affect a great mass.  Jesus warns that there are no secrets.  “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in  private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops”.  The religious leaders haven’t figured that out, but Jesus makes it clear.

Jesus assures His disciples that “everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God”.  Jesus comforted the faithful, explaining that the suffering Christian will be given the reward of allegiance and honor before the throne of God.  But note that Jesus did not say, denies Me in their heart or denies me in their mind; He said, ‘denies Me before men’. There is a real and important place for a public declaration of allegiance to Jesus. For many, this is the most difficult thing of all – and is usually difficult because of a fear of man – what will people think?

Jesus reorients us to what is important in life.  It isn’t about accumulating ‘stuff’.  He that has the most toys does not win. Jesus says “one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions”.  There is a countercultural statement.  The world would tell you we are all keeping score and the one with the most wins.  Jesus shared a parable about a rich man who took that approach.  “I will tear down my  barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods….I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry”.  Sounds a bit like the American Dream, doesn’t it?  But the rest of the story puts it all in perspective.  “This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be”?

The reality is that stuff won’t save us.  And in fact, all that we spend so much of our time and energy to accumulate won’t go with us when we die.  It doesn’t go into the casket and isn’t buried in the ground with us.  We can get caught up and spend all our precious time building an empire of stuff that has absolutely no value in God’s eternal economy.  “So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God”.  We can have a lot of earthly wealth and absolutely be bankrupt spiritually – which is the part that truly matters when it comes to eternity.  Are you laying up treasures here on earth – that last only a short time and will not be taken with you – or are you building up treasure in heaven where you are creating an eternity that provides eternal life with the Father?

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