From Hypocrisy to Generosity
In this study of Luke 12.1-21, Jesus has strong words for hypocrites, the fearful, worriers and the materialistic. How we apply His words can free us from all these things and lead us to a lifestyle of joyful generosity.
v1-3: Beware of hypocrisy
The dictionary defines hypocrisy as:
- the laying of a claim
- alleging or pretending
- of doubtful trustworthiness
- saying one thing but living another
- claiming belief but living a lie
- preaching without practicing
-pretending and pretension
"What you've said in the dark will be revealed."
(You can't pretend your way to spiritual maturity.)
v4-7: No fear (or better - rightly placed fear)
- God knows. God loves.
- God is all powerful. It is He that saves the soul.
- Great lesson of unreality of physical death.
- Why should we fear who will stop our lungs? We are more than livers and legs! We are souls!
"See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today? “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children"—(Deuteronomy 4:5-9 ESV)
With more than 350 instances of "do not fear" in the Bible, you won't go before your time. Rest assured, God knows the very hairs of your head (not so hard for me or Dave). You can live in bold dependence.
v8-9: No shame (a form of fear)
- Public acknowledgement yields heavenly affirmation
Our reluctance to testify is not based on our learning but on our avoidance of shame. We don't want to lose men's esteem. Our desire for popularity (or invisibility) is prideful. And it's unloving. At worst, it's blasphemous if we deny the power of Christ at work in our lives. They do not reject us but God, and there are forms are rejection that are unforgivable.
v10: Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit - quite the anomaly in this passage
"Speaking a word against the Son of Man refers to a specific act of rejection, while rejecting the testimony of the Spirit refers to a permanent rejection of that message of salvation." (Darrell Bock)
Reasons given for no fear:
- Fear of physical death is paltry and short-sighted. v5
- God esteems you above the rest of His creation. v7
- Presence of Holy Spirit. v12 (Mention here is somewhat of a prophect since He had not been given yet)
v13-34: No worry
- a parable v16-21 (prompted by covetousness/greed)
- v21: "Lays up treasure for himself"
What does that mean?! He answers it as He directs His attention back to His disciples.
To be continued next week...