Luke 12: Warning Against Hypocrisy

What will expose hypocrisy? Why are people easily fooled by it?

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Luke 12:1 The crowd grew into the thousands, more than anyone could count, until they were pressing against one another and stepping on one another’s feet. Mainly to his followers, Jesus taught what he had said many times before. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees, and recognize their hypocrisy.”
King James
Luke 12:1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

How can things hidden in the past be revealed in the present?

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Luke 12:2–3 “Everything hidden will one day be revealed, and all secrets will be brought to light. What you have whispered in the darkness will be shouted in broad daylight. What your ears have heard in a secluded room will be preached from the housetops.”
King James
Luke 12:2–3 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.

What do people typically fear most? What does it mean to “fear God”?

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Luke 12:4–5 “My friends, never fear those who can kill the body and nothing more. Let me tell you whom you should fear: God, who can destroy both body and soul in Hell. He is the one you need to fear.”
King James
Luke 12:4–5 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

How does God know about every sparrow that dies? What does that say about how much he knows about us?

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Luke 12:6–7 “The price of five sparrows is not much, but one sparrow cannot die without God’s knowledge. He even knows the number of hairs on your head. Don’t worry. You are worth more than many sparrows.”
King James
Luke 12:6–7 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

How do we “acknowledge Christ” before people? Why does that matter?

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Luke 12:8–9 “I assure you, anyone who publicly acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will publicly acknowledge before the angels of God. But anyone who denies me before men will be denied before God’s angels.”
King James
Luke 12:8–9 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

What does it mean to speak evil of the Holy Spirit? Why is that unforgiveable?

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Luke 12:10 “Those who speak against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but speaking evil of the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven. Never ever.”
King James
Luke 12:10 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.

If people are doing good, for what reasons might they be arrested?

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Luke 12:11 “When you are arrested and stand before synagogue authorities, governors, and kings, do not worry about what to say.”
King James
Luke 12:11 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:

Which is more important, knowing what to say or knowing how to listen? Why?

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Luke 12:12 “At the time you must speak, you will be given the right words to say.”
King James
Luke 12:12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.

Why did the man think he would be helped if Jesus would talk to his brother? Why didn’t Jesus agree?

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Luke 12:13–15 Someone from the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, would you instruct my brother to share our father’s inheritance with me?”
“Sir,” Jesus said, “who made me your arbitrator?”
He said to the crowd, “Look, do not be greedy. Satisfaction in life does not come from having an abundance of possessions.”
King James
Luke 12:13–15 And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? 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.

What are the benefits and liabilities of stockpiling treasures?

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Luke 12:16–21 He gave this illustration: “A rich man had an unusually productive farm that produced huge harvests. ‘What shall I do?’ he said to himself. ‘I have no place to store all my crops. I know. I will tear down my granaries and build bigger ones in their place. Then I will have enough room for all my goods, and I can tell myself, Now you can relax and enjoy life because you have saved enough to last for many years. Eat, drink, and be merry. But God said, ‘You fool! Tonight, you will die, so what good is all the wealth you have accumulated?’ This is what happens to all who store treasure for themselves and are not rich toward God in their giving.”
King James
Luke 12:16–21 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 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. 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. 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? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

Why do people sometimes worry about what doesn’t matter and pay little attention to what matters most?

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Luke 12:22–23 Jesus said to his followers, “That is why I keep telling you not to worry about your life, whether you have enough food and drink or clothes to wear. Life is more important than food, and the body is more important than clothes.”
King James
Luke 12:22–23 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.

How does God’s care for birds differ from how he cares for people?

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Luke 12:24 “Look at the birds. They do not plant seeds, gather a harvest, or store grain in barns. Yet God feeds them. Aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?”
King James
Luke 12:24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?

Why do people worry over conditions they can do nothing about?

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Luke 12:25–26 “Can all of your worrying increase your lifespan by just one minute? If you cannot do that, why fret about the rest?”
King James
Luke 12:25–26 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?

How does natural beauty compare with manmade beauty? What makes one better than the other?

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Luke 12:27–28 “Look how the wildflowers grow in the fields. They do not spin yarn or weave fabric. Yet Solomon in his greatest splendor was never dressed like one of them. If God clothes the wildflowers that are here now and gone tomorrow, don’t you suppose he will care for you? Why do you have such weak faith?”
King James
Luke 12:27–28 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

If God knows what we need, why are the needs so great?

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Luke 12:29–30 “Do not trouble yourselves with questions like ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ Do not worry about such things. People who do not know God seek such things, but your heavenly Father already knows what you need.”
King James
Luke 12:29–30 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.

What does it mean to “seek first his Kingdom”? How will that satisfy our needs?

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Luke 12:31–32 “Seek first his Kingdom, and he will give you everything you need. Little flock, do not be afraid you will not have enough. Your Father is delighted to give you the Kingdom.”
King James
Luke 12:31–32 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

What makes treasure in Heaven more valuable than treasure on Earth?

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Luke 12:33–34 “If you sell what you have and give to those in need, you will store up treasure for yourselves in Heaven, where it is safe from moths and rust and thieves. For wherever your treasure is, your heart will be there also.”
King James
Luke 12:33–34 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

What should we be most prepared for?

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Luke 12:35–36 “Be dressed and ready for action,” Jesus said. “Have your lamps burning. Be like servants waiting for their master’s return from a wedding feast, so whenever he comes and knocks, they immediately open the door.”
2 Timothy 4:1–2 Before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead when he returns to rule in his Kingdom, I urge you to be ready with God’s message at all times. Correct, rebuke, and encourage people while patiently accepting their need for time to hear, understand, and believe.
King James
Luke 12:35–36 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
2 Timothy 4:1–2 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Why will the master serve those who are watching for his arrival?

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Luke 12:37–38 “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds watching for his arrival. I am telling you, the master will dress to serve, ask them to dinner, and be their server. Whenever the master comes, perhaps in the middle of the night or at dawn, blessed are those servants who are ready.”
King James
Luke 12:37–38 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

What assumptions can be made when we don’t know when something will happen?

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Luke 12:39–40 “Certainly, if a homeowner knew when a thief was coming, he would be ready and would not allow him to break in. Likewise, you must always be ready, or the Son of Man will come at an unexpected time.”
King James
Luke 12:39–40 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

Why might Peter have thought Jesus’ illustration was only for his disciples and not for others?

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Luke 12:41–42 Peter said, “Sir, are you giving this illustration only for us or for everyone?”
“I am talking to all the faithful and wise servants whom the master puts in charge of caring for his possessions and serving food at mealtime.”
King James
Luke 12:41–42 Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all? 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?

If more is required of those who are given more, would it be better to be given less? Why?

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Luke 12:43–48 “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds at work when he comes. I guarantee, he will put them in charge of everything he owns. But if a servant thinks, My master will not be back for a while, so he abuses other servants, spends his time partying, and pursues personal pleasures, his master will return unexpectedly and cut him off. He will put the servant with those who cannot be trusted. The servant who knows what his master wants but fails to prepare and do the work will be severely punished, but the one who does wrong out of ignorance will receive a lighter sentence. Much is required of those who are given much responsibility, and more is required of those who are given more.”
King James
Luke 12:43–48 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. 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; 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. 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. 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.

What kind of fire did Jesus want to start? Why did he have to suffer first?

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Luke 12:49–50 “I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning. But first I have a baptism of suffering to endure, and I am pressed to see it completed.”
King James
Luke 12:49–50 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!

How could the Prince of Peace not be one to bring peace to the world?

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Luke 12:51–53 “Do you think I’ve come to bring peace to the world? No, I bring division. From now on, five in a household will be divided concerning me, three against two and two against three. A father will oppose his son, and the son, his father. A mother will oppose her daughter, and the daughter, her mother. A mother-in-law will oppose her daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law, her mother-in-law.”
King James
Luke 12:51–53 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. 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.

What makes “signs of the times” more difficult to interpret than weather?

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Luke 12:54–57 Jesus said to the crowd, “When you see a cloud rise in the west, you say, ‘It is going to rain,’ and it does. When the wind blows from the south, you say, ‘It is going to be a hot day,’ and it is. Hypocrites! You can read the signs of the earth and sky to determine what the weather will be. How can you not see what is happening now? Why can’t you decide for yourselves what is right?”
King James
Luke 12:54–57 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. And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass. 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? Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of settling a case out of court?

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Luke 12:58–59 “Suppose someone brings an accusation against you. You should seek to settle the dispute before going to court. Otherwise, you may find yourself before a judge, who will have an officer put you in prison. If that happens, you will not be free until you have paid all that is due.”
King James
Luke 12:58–59 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. I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite.