Settle Your Account With God Before It’s Too Late—Luke 12:54-59

INTRODUCTION

 

54 And he said also to the people, When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is. 55 And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass. 56 Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time? 

 

57 Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right? 58 When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison. 59 I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite. (Luke 12:54–59)

 

The general theme of this part of Luke 12 has been to be alert and to be ready for the Master’s coming. As the chapter closes, we see Jesus bring this to a head with the people. Israel, as a whole, had failed to recognize their Messiah, Jesus Christ.

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The Gospel Of Division—Luke 12.49-53

INTRODUCTION

 

49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! 51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: 52 For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. 53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. (Luke 12:49–53)

 

Not since the Civil War, it seems, has our nation ever been so divided. What’s behind it? The answer has to do with a shift from a Judeo-Christian worldview to a secular worldview. 

 

Most Americans once had a worldview that was so strongly influenced by Christianity that, even if they were not true Christians, Christian morals and values dominated their thinking. Now, that has changed. Even people who say that they are Christians are strongly influenced by secular thinking. 

 

This shift has been gradually happening for decades and has reached a fever-pitch in these most recent years. It occurred to me that, if there was no biblical Christianity, our nation would not be divided—at least not about the issues like abortion and homosexual marriage. 

 

This is because Christianity is God’s truth and the world is opposed to God’s truth. People—left to themselves—will always gravitate away from God’s truth. 

 

But when they are confronted with the gospel, and they receive it, they have to walk away from the world’s way of thinking. There’s a division of the old life and the new life. There’s a division of the old way of thinking and God’s way of thinking.

 

This primary division that the gospel makes regarding salvation has a ripple effect in our lives. It changes and determines what our basic morals are. No one who truly has accepted the gospel can honestly come to any conclusion about sexual morals and abortion, for instance, other than sex is to be reserved for marriage between a man and a woman and abortion is murder. 

 

If you are a true Christian, the gospel is a great divide in your life. We see Jesus explain this division in this passage in Luke.

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To Whom Much Is Given—Luke 12:41-48

INTRODUCTION

 

41 Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all? 42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. 45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; 46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:41–48)

 

In previous passage, Luke 12:35-40, Jesus told a parable concerning the servants who were alert and ready when their master returned—even if it was in the middle of the night. The lesson for the listeners was “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning” (Luke 12:35). Be ready!

 

Peter listens carefully to the parable, but has a question:

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The Second Triumphal Coming—Luke 12:35-40

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Palm Sunday (described in Luke 19 and other places) commemorates Jesus’s entrance into Jerusalem. On that day, the Sunday before His death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus entered into Jerusalem to the loud Hosannahs of the people.  

 

38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. (Luke 19:38)

 

They were excited for the coming of the Lord, although they were mistaken in what they thought He had come to do. Most probably expected Jesus to overthrow Roman rule and establish Israel as an independent nation again—not die as a sacrifice for their sins. So, sadly, they missed the reason for Jesus’s first coming.

 

The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem foreshadows a vastly bigger and more important second triumphal entry—the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

 

Just as the Jews of Bible times were supposed to be alert to the First Coming of their Messiah, so Christians are to be alert to His Second Coming. In what way should we do this? Jesus gives us two parables here that teach us how to live in light of His Second Coming. First, we see that we must…

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Don’t Be A Worry Wart—Luke 12:22-34

INTRODUCTION

 

All of us struggle with worry—some of us even worry about being worried! 

Milton Berle had some wise words to say about worry:

 

Life is very simple. The first thing to remember about life is—don’t worry about it. Really, there are only two things to worry about; either you’re successful or you’re not successful. If you’re successful, there’s nothing to worry about. 

 

If you’re not successful, there are only two things to worry about. Your health is good or you are sick; if your health is good, there’s nothing to worry about. 

 

If your health is bad, there are only two things to worry about: either you’re going to live or you’re not going to live. If you live there’s nothing to worry about, and if you don’t live, you have only two things to worry about. Either you’re going to heaven or you’re not going to heaven. 

 

If you are going to heaven, there’s nothing to worry about, and if you go to the other place, you’ll be so busy shaking hands with all your old friends, you won’t have time to worry. (Roy B. Zuck, The Speaker’s Quote Book: Over 4,500 Illustrations and Quotations for All Occasions [Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1997], 422)

 

Okay, maybe Milton Berle’s words aren’t all that wise. Fortunately, we can turn to Jesus as a totally wise teacher. And Jesus has a lot to teach us about worry. First, we see that…

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Covetousness Is Foolishness—Luke 12:13-21

INTRODUCTION

 

13 And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. 14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? 15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. (Luke 12:13–21)

 

I read about five sisters who grew up in a small town. Their father was a successful banker despite the Great Depression. Four of the sisters married and stayed close to home. The other went to college, got married, and taught school on the West Coast. 

 

When the father died, she and her husband came home. When she came into the house, she noticed that many of the things in the house had been tagged by the other sisters with their names. She and her husband was appalled by the sight. 

 

Later, when the siblings were having a tense and awkward meal together, her husband stood behind her mother’s chair and said, “Everyone seems to be tagging what they want, so we’ll also tag what we want.” With those words, he placed his hands on their mother’s shoulders. (R. Kent Hughes, Luke: That You May Know the Truth, Preaching the Word [Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1998], 44–45.)

 

It’s stunning how easily we covet things, isn’t it? Covetousness can even override our feelings of grief! If it is able to work itself into our hearts the day after a parent dies, then what chance do we have in keeping it out of our hearts as we walk through our lives as Christians?

 

Our passage looks at a similar situation, where a parent has died and the children are more concerned about the inheritance. Jesus drives to the root of the problem and offers reasons to fight against allowing covetousness any foothold in our lives.

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Relying On Your Friend, The Holy Spirit—Luke 12:10-12

INTRODUCTION

 

8 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: 9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God. 10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven. 11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: 12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. (Luke 12:8–12)

 

1) ARE YOU A FRIEND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT? (12:10)

 

Are you a friend of the Holy Spirit? Luke 12:10 describes the person who is as far from being a friend of the Holy Spirit as possible. 

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