Luke 12 Part 1–Perspective and Persecution

It was a difficult day for the Lord.  The crowds were great, the pharisees had committed to getting rid of Jesus and so at every turn Jesus had to confront the pressure of the crowds and attacks of the pharisees.  Still during the chaos and craziness, Jesus stops to give perspective on what lay ahead.  First, Jesus warned His followers to be real and transparent.  He reminded them that the religious leaders looked great on the outside, but their hypocrisy is what pervaded their lives.  They lived as if it was all hidden, but God sees it all and will reveal it.

Next, Jesus gave them a stark perspective–they need not worry about those that would threaten death or injury, that is all they have.  The one to fear is the one that controls what comes after death.  In short, trust God that controls your eternity, not men that control this short present time.  Remember, Jesus said, God cares for grass and sparrows, how much more will He care for His chosen.  So, when you are persecuted, Jesus warned, do not be fearful–God’s spirit will encourage and direct you.  Jesus knew the time had come when the dynamic had changed from Rockstar to savior.  His mission was now to prepare the Disciples to change the world.  He was transparent, He wanted them to know that things were going to be difficult.  As such, they needed to be ready to face what was coming.

The same holds true today.  As a Church, we have enjoyed peaceful worship and unfettered access to God’s Word, His leadership, His community, and His protection.  The time is coming, however, where that will no longer be the case.  In this time, we see constant pushes to restrict worship and the free practice of our faith.  Jesus is reminding us, as He did His guys, we need not worry about persecution, all they can do is kill our bodies. 

We need to focus upon eternity, and on our walk with God–not on those who would deny us our right to worship freely.  It is no small thing to realize that the world hates people of faith.  As the world walks away from God, we must expect His withdrawing His hand of protection, and we must be ready to defend our faith with all we have and are.  In that, however, we can trust God to provide what we need at any given moment.  Look at the sparrows and the flowers–right?!!

God Bless You


Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be[a] on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.

“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

“I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

11 “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

Luke 7 Part 2–Taking a Step Off the Beaten Path

As doctor Luke continues to tell our Lord’s story, He makes a brief diversion.  He takes us off the beaten path to a farming community of Nain.  Jesus happens onto a funeral. A widow is burying her only son.  The procession is coming out of the city gate and Jesus and His guys meet up with them.  Jesus sees the widow, the community, and takes compassion on the widow.  Jesus raises the son from death and returns him to his mom.  What a great story!

That is, however, only part of the story.  To understand the depth of love and grace God has for us, let me throw out a couple extra facts.  Nain was well off the beaten path to other communities.  Jesus would have had to be going there for a specific purpose.  It was a long and arduous walk to the edge of a mountain.  So, Jesus walking there to coincidentally meet a funeral precession is simply unlikely.  Truth be told–Jesus set out very early that morning to meet a woman in great need.  He was the only solution to her life–a life that was now decimated.

Luke’s sidetrack was one of the great character revelations demonstrated in God’s word.  It is a physical example of God’s personal care.  This widow in this small farm town lost everything when her son died.  Her dear boy, her protection, her livelihood, and her standing in the community all now lay in a coffin.  Jesus went way out of His way to meet the widow, the coffin, and the boy to restore what this woman had lost.  The people in the town were rightfully amazed, but this was a small town–so what.  The “so what” is the reminder that God loves us personally! He will travel anywhere to meet us in our times of need; and He will restore what we have lost.  

I love Romans 5:8, “God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” It is a spiritual version to Jesus journey to Nain.  God knew our need and he went way out of His way to meet us.  He comes to our funeral and restores us.  We can never forget that God’s sacrifice was not made at a point that we deserved it.  No, He made the sacrifice only because He loves us personally and completely. 

Thanks Lord, for allowing Luke to demonstrate that character trait in the little town of Nain.

God Bless You


Soon afterward Jesus went with his disciples to the village of Nain, and a large crowd followed him. 12 A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The young man who had died was a widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said. 14 Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. “Young man,” he said, “I tell you, get up.” 15 Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother.

16 Great fear swept the crowd, and they praised God, saying, “A mighty prophet has risen among us,” and “God has visited his people today.” 17 And the news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding countryside.