TUESDAY, MAY 21
SCRIPTURE: Luke 12:1-12
By: Jeremy Witt
These verses are packed with applications for us today as it was for the original hearers. I could leave this page blank and you could fill it on your own probably better than what I can do. It might be a good challenge for you to do for yourself. Let’s take a look at these together starting in verse 1.
For some reason, this verse jumped out at me today. The crowds had grown. That is good that people are hearing about Jesus, but it also presents some challenges too. Imagine trying to feed that many along with the other things that come with that. They are hearing the words of Jesus and being taught, but what I see comes in the latter portion of that verse. They are milling about and stepping on each other. The Messiah is there, but they are treating each other carelessly. The two greatest commandments are to love God with all that we have and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. They are not applying His Words to themselves. Uh-oh, wait! Do I do that as I read His Words or am I just like they were? Are you doing that? Ouch. I have to be better at applying His Words to my life. (Sidenote: Isn’t it amazing how one verse that we have read before can jump out at us as if we have never read it before?)
At the end of verse one, Jesus turns to His disciples while the crowds are walking around, and He speaks to the disciples. He is speaking about the Pharisees first, but also to them so that they do not act like the Pharisees. Jesus knows their hearts and motives because He is the Son of God who is both fully man but also fully God. In verses 2-4, He tells the disciples that the truth will come out and be revealed. Some of this would come out in their day and the rest will come at the Judgement. This is true for us as well so let us keep this in mind for ourselves. Jesus calls the Pharisees hypocrites. So what is a hypocrite? Hypocrisy is knowing the truth but not following it. Hypocrisy is saying one thing and doing the opposite. Hypocrisy is living a self-centered life while calling others to do differently. It is “do as I say, not as I do.” Hypocrisy reduces faith to rule-following and becomes legalism. Hypocrisy can have right behavior without heart change or transformation. Each one of us has to be careful so that we do not fall into this, and if we are honest with each other, we have probably done this or possibly are doing this, and need to repent and get our hearts back in line with God.
Verses 4-12 Jesus speaks of opposition, persecution, and more. Following Christ truly is the most difficult thing we can do. We will be opposed by man, culture, and the spiritual realms. Faithful obedience will be costly and suffering/persecution will come despite what many popular preachers say today. If we will read God’s Word, we can see for ourselves how these folks are VERY WRONG.
In the midst of this passage is verse 10. This is the one sin that no one can be forgiven. It is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Many people have questions about what this is and what it means. Some tribes say that if you kill, you cannot go to heaven. Some tribes say that if you commit suicide, you cannot go to heaven. Again, we must go to God’s word. Ultimately if we blaspheme the Holy Spirit, it means that we agree with Satan and do not believe God, Jesus, or the work of the Holy Spirit. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is to deliberately and willingly deny the Holy Spirit and reject Jesus. Anyone who chooses not to believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah does this. How does that refer to the Holy Spirit? It is through the Holy Spirit that God calls us, convict us, and open our hearts to Himself. God is the One who pursues us, but if we choose to reject Him or the work of the Spirit we are guilty of this sin.
Jesus concludes this section simply by saying that when you are persecuted, arrested, questioned, the Spirit will give us the words that we need at the moment.
The thing that we need to remember is that we need the LORD every day, all day, and in the midst of every moment. We need to be aware of this and not to think that we can do it ourselves.