Do You Fear God or Man? (Luke 12:1-12)

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 on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3 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.

4 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

8 “I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. 9 But he who disowns me before men 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 12:1-12) 

Learn it:

            Jesus begins to teach his disciples as a crowd of a thousand people begin to gather around them.  They are getting so close that people are trampling on one another!  It is in this context that Jesus warns them about the Pharisees.  He does not want them to get led astray by their false teachings.  He knows how lies can spread through a culture.  He wants them to know that God knows everything that we say, and nothing will be hidden from him. 

            He continues teaching that they should not be afraid of man and their threats.  He tells them there is nothing they can do to them because their souls are in the hands of God.  He will always take care of them.  Just as God cares for five common sparrows God knows the number of hairs on our heads!  We should fear, or really, trust him.  He again warns them that there are consequences for rejecting him!  We need to be bold in our faith and not worry about what others think of us.  God will always be with us and it is through his Spirit that we will have the words to say. 

Live it:


            Jesus wants his disciples to be bold in their faith.  He wants them to be confident in his teachings and not get swayed by popular teachings.  People are not going to like the gospel they are preaching and be offended by it.  Jesus tells them to not be afraid of their threats.  The names of the people that are against the gospel may have changed today but there will always be people that reject the teachings of Christ.  We must keep our identity in Christ.  Are we more afraid of society and possibly looking like a fool or are we more afraid of what God will think of us?  Man can only harm our bodies, but God has power over our souls.  By God’s grace we can be sure we will spend eternity in him, but don’t we also want to hear, “well done, good and faithful servant”?  How can you be bold in your faith today?  

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