Fear God, Not People

1 Meanwhile,1 when many thousands of the crowd had gathered so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus2 began to speak first to his disciples, “Be on your guard against3 the yeast of the Pharisees,4 which is hypocrisy.5 2 Nothing is hidden6 that will not be revealed,7 and nothing is secret that will not be made known. 3 So then8 whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered9 in private rooms10 will be proclaimed from the housetops.11

4I12 tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body,13 and after that have nothing more they can do. 5 But I will warn14 you whom you should fear: Fear the one who, after the killing,15 has authority to throw you16 into hell.17 Yes, I tell you, fear him! 6 Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies?18 Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 In fact, even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid;19 you are more valuable than many sparrows.

8I20 tell you, whoever acknowledges21 me before men,22 the Son of Man will also acknowledge23 before God’s angels. 9 But the one who denies me before men will be denied before God’s angels. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the person who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit24 will not be forgiven.25 11 But when they bring you before the synagogues,26 the27 rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how you should make your defense28 or what you should say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment29 what you must say.”30

The Parable of the Rich Landowner

13 Then31 someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell32 my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But Jesus33 said to him, “Man,34 who made me a judge or arbitrator between you two?35 15 Then36 he said to them, “Watch out and guard yourself from37 all types of greed,38 because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 He then39 told them a parable:40 “The land of a certain rich man produced41 an abundant crop, 17 so42 he thought to himself,43What should I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’44 18 Then45 he said, ‘I46 will do this: I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to myself,47You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate!”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life48 will be demanded back from49 you, but who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’50 21 So it is with the one who stores up riches for himself,51 but is not rich toward God.”

Exhortation Not to Worry

22 Then52 Jesus53 said to his54 disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry55 about your56 life, what you will eat, or about your57 body, what you will wear. 23 For there is more to life than food, and more to the body than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens:58 They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds59 them. How much more valuable are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by worrying60 can add an hour to his life?61 26 So if62 you cannot do such a very little thing as this, why do you worry about63 the rest? 27 Consider how the flowers64 grow; they do not work65 or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! 28 And if66 this is how God clothes the wild grass,67 which is here68 today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven,69 how much more70 will he clothe you, you people of little faith! 29 So71 do not be overly concerned about72 what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not worry about such things.73 30 For all the nations of the world pursue74 these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, pursue75 his76 kingdom,77 and these things will be given to you as well.

32Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is well pleased78 to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions79 and give to the poor.80 Provide yourselves purses that do not wear out – a treasure in heaven81 that never decreases,82 where no thief approaches and no moth83 destroys. 34 For where your treasure84 is, there your heart will be also.

Call to Faithful Stewardship

35Get dressed for service85 and keep your lamps burning;86 36 be like people87 waiting for their master to come back from the wedding celebration,88 so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 Blessed are those slaves89 whom their master finds alert90 when he returns! I tell you the truth,91 he will dress himself to serve,92 have them take their place at the table,93 and will come94 and wait on them!95 38 Even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night96 and finds them alert,97 blessed are those slaves!98 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief99 was coming, he would not have let100 his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”101

41 Then102 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?103 42 The Lord replied,104Who then is the faithful and wise manager,105 whom the master puts in charge of his household servants,106 to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that slave107 whom his master finds at work108 when he returns. 44 I tell you the truth,109 the master110 will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But if111 that112 slave should say to himself,113My master is delayed114 in returning,’ and he begins to beat115 the other116 slaves, both men and women,117 and to eat, drink, and get drunk, 46 then the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not foresee, and will cut him in two,118 and assign him a place with the unfaithful.119 47 That120 servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or do what his master asked121 will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know his master’s will122 and did things worthy of punishment123 will receive a light beating.124 From everyone who has been given much, much will be required,125 and from the one who has been entrusted with much,126 even more will be asked.127

Not Peace, but Division

49I have come128 to bring129 fire on the earth – and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism130 to undergo,131 and how distressed I am until it is finished! 51 Do you think I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!132 52 For from now on133 there will be five in one household divided, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided,134 father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Reading the Signs

54 Jesus135 also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west,136 you say at once, ‘A rainstorm137 is coming,’ and it does. 55 And when you see the south wind138 blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and there is. 56 You hypocrites!139 You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky, but how can you not know how140 to interpret the present time?

Clear the Debts

57And141 why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you are going with your accuser before the magistrate,142 make an effort to settle with him on the way, so that he will not drag you before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer,143 and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you will never get out of there until you have paid the very last cent!”144

112:1tn The phrase ἐν οἷς (en Jois) can be translated “meanwhile.” 212:1tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. 312:1tn According to L&N 27.59, “to pay attention to, to keep on the lookout for, to be alert for, to be on your guard against.” This is another Lukan present imperative calling for constant vigilance. 412:1sn See the note on Pharisees in 5:17. 512:1sn The pursuit of popularity can lead to hypocrisy, if one is not careful. 612:2tn Or “concealed.” 712:2sn I.e., be revealed by God. The passive voice verbs here (“be revealed,” be made known”) see the revelation as coming from God. The text is both a warning about bad things being revealed and an encouragement that good things will be made known, though the stress with the images of darkness and what is hidden in vv. 2-3 is on the attempt to conceal. 812:3tn Or “because.” Understanding this verse as a result of v. 2 is a slightly better reading of the context. Knowing what is coming should impact our behavior now. 912:3tn Grk “spoken in the ear,” an idiom. The contemporary expression is “whispered.” 1012:3sn The term translated private rooms refers to the inner room of a house, normally without any windows opening outside, the most private location possible (BDAG 988 s.v. ταμεῖον 2). 1112:3tn The expression “proclaimed from the housetops” is an idiom for proclaiming something publicly (L&N 7.51). Roofs of many first century Jewish houses in Judea and Galilee were flat and had access either from outside or from within the house. Something shouted from atop a house would be heard by everyone in the street below. 1212:4tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated. 1312:4sn Judaism had a similar exhortation in 4 Macc 13:14-15. 1412:5tn Grk “will show,” but in this reflective context such a demonstration is a warning or exhortation. 1512:5sn The actual performer of the killing is not here specified. It could be understood to be God (so NASB, NRSV) but it could simply emphasize that, after a killing has taken place, it is God who casts the person into hell. 1612:5tn The direct object (“you”) is understood. 1712:5sn The word translated hell is “Gehenna” (γέεννα, geenna), a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew words ge hinnom (“Valley of Hinnom”). This was the valley along the south side of Jerusalem. In OT times it was used for human sacrifices to the pagan god Molech (cf. Jer 7:31; 19:5-6; 32:35), and it came to be used as a place where human excrement and rubbish were disposed of and burned. In the intertestamental period, it came to be used symbolically as the place of divine punishment (cf. 1 En. 27:2, 90:26; 4 Ezra 7:36). 1812:6sn The pennies refer to the assarion, a small Roman copper coin. One of them was worth one sixteenth of a denarius or less than a half hour’s average wage. Sparrows were the cheapest thing sold in the market. God knows about even the most financially insignificant things; see Isa 49:15. 1912:7sn Do not be afraid. One should respect and show reverence to God (v. 5), but need not fear his tender care. 2012:8tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated. 2112:8tn Or “confesses.” 2212:8tn Although this is a generic reference and includes both males and females, in this context “men” has been retained because of the wordplay with the Son of Man and the contrast with the angels. The same is true of the occurrence of “men” in v. 9. 2312:8sn This acknowledgment will take place at the judgment. Of course, the Son of Man is a reference to Jesus as it has been throughout the Gospel. On Jesus and judgment, see 22:69; Acts 10:42-43; 17:31. 2412:10sn Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit probably refers to a total rejection of the testimony that the Spirit gives to Jesus and the plan of God. This is not so much a sin of the moment as of one’s entire life, an obstinate rejection of God’s message and testimony. Cf. Matt 12:31-32 and Mark 3:28-30. 2512:10tn Grk “it will not be forgiven the person who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit.” 2612:11sn The saying looks at persecution both from a Jewish context as the mention of synagogues suggests, and from a Gentile one as the reference to the rulers and the authorities suggests.sn See the note on synagogues in 4:15. 2712:11tn Grk “and the,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more. 2812:11tn Grk “about how or what you should say in your defense,” but this is redundant with the following clause, “or what you should say.” 2912:12tn Grk “in that very hour” (an idiom). 3012:12tn Grk “what it is necessary to say.” 3112:13tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative. 3212:13sn Tell my brother. In 1st century Jewish culture, a figure like a rabbi was often asked to mediate disputes, except that here mediation was not requested, but representation. 3312:14tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. 3412:14tn This term of address can be harsh or gentle depending on the context (BDAG 82 s.v. ἄνθρωπος 8). Here it is a rebuke. 3512:14tn The pronoun ὑμᾶς (Jumas) is plural, referring to both the man and his brother; thus the translation “you two.” 3612:15tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative. 3712:15tn See L&N 13.154 for this use of the middle voice of φυλάσσω (fulassw) in this verse. 3812:15tn Or “avarice,” “covetousness.” Note the warning covers more than money and gets at the root attitude – the strong desire to acquire more and more possessions and experiences. 3912:16tn Grk “And he.” Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the connection to the preceding statement. 4012:16tn Grk “a parable, saying.” The participle λέγων (legwn) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated here. 4112:16tn Or “yielded a plentiful harvest.” 4212:17tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate that this is a result of the preceding statement. 4312:17tn Grk “to himself, saying.” The participle λέγων (legwn) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated here. 4412:17sn I have nowhere to store my crops. The thinking here is prudent in terms of recognizing the problem. The issue in the parable will be the rich man’s solution, particularly the arrogance reflected in v. 19. 4512:18tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative. 4612:18sn Note how often the first person pronoun is present in these verses. The farmer is totally self absorbed. 4712:19tn Grk “to my soul,” which is repeated as a vocative in the following statement, but is left untranslated as redundant. 4812:20tn Grk “your soul,” but ψυχή (yuch) is frequently used of one’s physical life. It clearly has that meaning in this context. 4912:20tn Or “required back.” This term, ἀπαιτέω (apaitew), has an economic feel to it and is often used of a debt being called in for repayment (BDAG 96 s.v. 1). 5012:20tn Grk “the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” The words “for yourself” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. 5112:21sn It is selfishness that is rebuked here, in the accumulation of riches for himself. Recall the emphasis on the first person pronouns throughout the parable. 5212:22tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative. Jesus’ remarks to the disciples are an application of the point made in the previous parable. 5312:22tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. 5412:22tc αὐτοῦ (autou, “his”) is lacking in Ì45vid,75 B 1241 c e. Although the addition of clarifying pronouns is a known scribal alteration, in this case it is probably better to view the dropping of the pronoun as the alteration in light of its minimal attestation. 5512:22tn Or “do not be anxious.” 5612:22tc Most mss (Ì45 Ψ 070 Ë13 33 Ï) supply the pronoun ὑμῶν (Jumwn, “your”) here, although several important and early witnesses omit it (Ì75 א A B D L Q W Θ Ë1 700 2542 al lat). Externally, the shorter reading is superior. Internally, the pronoun looks to be a scribal clarification. In context the article can be translated as a possessive pronoun anyway (ExSyn 215), as it has been done for this translation. 5712:22tc Some mss (B 070 Ë13 33 1424 al) supply the pronoun ὑμῶν (Jumwn, “your”) here, although the witnesses for the omission are early, important, and varied (Ì45vid,75 א A D L Q W Θ Ψ Ë1 Ï lat). See previous tc note for more discussion. 5812:24tn Or “crows.” Crows and ravens belong to the same family of birds. English uses “crow” as a general word for the family. Palestine has several indigenous members of the crow family. 5912:24tn Or “God gives them food to eat.” L&N 23.6 has both “to provide food for” and “to give food to someone to eat.” 6012:25tn Or “by being anxious.” 6112:25tn Or “a cubit to his height.” A cubit (πῆχυς, phcu") can measure length (normally about 45 cm or 18 inches) or time (a small unit, “hour” is usually used [BDAG 812 s.v.] although “day” has been suggested [L&N 67.151]). The term ἡλικία (Jhlikia) is ambiguous in the same way as πῆχυς. Most scholars take the term to describe age or length of life here, although a few refer it to bodily stature (see BDAG 435-36 s.v. 1.a for discussion). Worry about length of life seems a more natural figure than worry about height. However, the point either way is clear: Worrying adds nothing to life span or height. 6212:26tn This is a first class condition in the Greek text. 6312:26tn Or “why are you anxious for.” 6412:27tn Traditionally, “lilies.” According to L&N 3.32, “Though traditionally κρίνον has been regarded as a type of lily, scholars have suggested several other possible types of flowers, including an anemone, a poppy, a gladiolus, and a rather inconspicuous type of daisy.” In view of the uncertainty, the more generic “flowers” has been used in the translation. 6512:27tn Traditionally, “toil.” Although it might be argued that “work hard” would be a more precise translation of κοπιάω (kopiaw) here, the line in English scans better in terms of cadence with a single syllable. 6612:28tn This is a first class condition in the Greek text. 6712:28tn Grk “grass in the field.” 6812:28tn Grk “which is in the field today.” 6912:28tn Grk “into the oven.” The expanded translation “into the fire to heat the oven” has been used to avoid misunderstanding; most items put into modern ovens are put there to be baked, not burned.sn The oven was most likely a rounded clay oven used for baking bread, which was heated by burning wood and dried grass. 7012:28sn The phrase how much more is a typical form of rabbinic argumentation, from the lesser to the greater. If God cares for the little things, surely he will care for the more important things. 7112:29tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate a conclusion drawn from the previous illustrations. 7212:29tn Grk “do not seek,” but this could be misunderstood to mean that people should make no attempt to obtain their food. The translation “do not be overly concerned” attempts to reflect the force of the original. 7312:29tn The words “about such things” have been supplied to qualify the meaning; the phrase relates to obtaining food and drink mentioned in the previous clause. 7412:30tn Grk “seek.” 7512:31tn Grk “seek,” but in the sense of the previous verses. 7612:31tc Most mss (Ì45 A D1 Q W Θ 070 Ë1,13 33 Ï lat sy) read τοῦ θεοῦ (tou qeou, “of God”) instead of αὐτοῦ (autou, “his”; found in א B D* L Ψ 579 892 pc co). But such a clarifying reading is suspect. αὐτοῦ is superior on both internal and external grounds. Ì75 includes neither and as such would support the translation above since the article alone can often be translated as a possessive pronoun. 7712:31sn His (that is, God’s) kingdom is a major theme of Jesus. It is a realm in which Jesus rules and to which those who trust him belong. See Luke 6:20; 11:20; 17:20-21. 7812:32tn Or perhaps, “your Father chooses.” 7912:33sn The call to sell your possessions is a call to a lack of attachment to the earth and a generosity as a result. 8012:33tn Grk “give alms,” but this term is not in common use today. 8112:33tn Grk “in the heavens.” 8212:33tn Or “an unfailing treasure in heaven,” or “an inexhaustible treasure in heaven.” 8312:33tn The term σής (shs) refers to moths in general. It is specifically the larvae of moths that destroy clothing by eating holes in it (L&N 4.49; BDAG 922 s.v.). See Jas 5:2, which mentions “moth-eaten” clothing. 8412:34sn Seeking heavenly treasure means serving others and honoring God by doing so; see Luke 6:35-36. 8512:35tn Grk “Let your loins be girded,” an idiom referring to the practice of tucking the ends of the long cloak (outer garment) into the belt to shorten it in preparation for activities like running, etc. 8612:35sn Keep your lamps burning means to be ready at all times. 8712:36tn That is, like slaves (who are mentioned later, vv. 37-38), although the term ἀνθρώποις (anqrwpoi") is used here. Since in this context it appears generic rather than gender-specific, the translation “people” is employed. 8812:36sn An ancient wedding celebration could last for days (Tob 11:18). 8912:37tn See the note on the word “slave” in 7:2. 9012:37tn Or “watching”; Grk “awake,” but in context this is not just being awake but alert and looking out. 9112:37tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.” 9212:37tn See v. 35 (same verb). 9312:37tn Grk “have them recline at table,” as 1st century middle eastern meals were not eaten while sitting at a table, but while reclining on one’s side on the floor with the head closest to the low table and the feet farthest away. 9412:37tn The participle παρελθών (parelqwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. 9512:37sn He…will come and wait on them is a reversal of expectation, but shows that what Jesus asks for he is willing to do as well; see John 13:5 and 15:18-27, although those instances merely foreshadow what is in view here. 9612:38sn The second or third watch of the night would be between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. on a Roman schedule and 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on a Jewish schedule. Luke uses the four-watch schedule of the Romans in Acts 12:4, so that is more probable here. Regardless of the precise times of the watches, however, it is clear that the late-night watches when a person is least alert are in view here. 9712:38tn Grk “finds (them) thus”; but this has been clarified in the translation by referring to the status (“alert”) mentioned in v. 37. 9812:38tn Grk “blessed are they”; the referent (the watchful slaves, v. 37) has been specified in the translation for clarity. 9912:39sn On Jesus pictured as a returning thief, see 1 Thess 5:2, 4; 2 Pet 3:10; Rev 3:3; 16:15. 10012:39tc Most mss (א1 A B L Q W Θ Ψ 070 Ë1,13 33 Ï lat syp,h sams bo) read “he would have watched and not let” here, but this looks like an assimilation to Matt 24:43. The alliance of two important and early mss along with a few others (Ì75 א* [D] e i sys,c samss), coupled with much stronger internal evidence, suggests that the shorter reading is authentic. 10112:40sn Jesus made clear that his coming could not be timed, and suggested it might take some time – so long, in fact, that some would not be looking for him any longer (at an hour when you do not expect him). 10212:41tn Grk “And Peter.” Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the connection to the preceding statement. 10312:41sn Is the parable only for disciples (us) or for all humanity (everyone)? Or does Peter mean for disciples (us) or for the crowd (everyone)? The fact that unfaithful slaves are mentioned in v. 46 looks to a warning that includes a broad audience, though it is quality of service that is addressed. This means the parable focuses on those who are associated with Jesus. 10412:42tn Grk “And the Lord said.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. 10512:42tn Or “administrator,” “steward” (L&N 37.39). 10612:42tn This term, θεραπεία (qerapeia), describes the group of servants working in a particular household (L&N 46.6). 10712:43tn See the note on the word “slave” in 7:2. 10812:43tn That is, doing his job, doing what he is supposed to be doing. 10912:44tn Grk “Truly (ἀληθῶς, alhqw"), I say to you.” 11012:44tn Grk “he”; the referent (the master) has been specified in the translation for clarity. See also Luke 19:11-27. 11112:45tn In the Greek text this is a third class condition that for all practical purposes is a hypothetical condition (note the translation of the following verb “should say”). 11212:45tn The term “that” (ἐκεῖνος, ekeino") is used as a catchword to list out, in the form of a number of hypothetical circumstances, what the possible responses of “that” servant could be. He could be faithful (vv. 43-44) or totally unfaithful (vv. 45-46). He does not complete his master’s will with knowledge (v. 47) or from ignorance (v 48). These differences are indicated by the different levels of punishment in vv. 46-48. 11312:45tn Grk “should say in his heart.” 11412:45tn Or “is taking a long time.” 11512:45sn The slave’s action in beginning to beat the other slaves was not only a failure to carry out what was commanded but involved doing the exact reverse. 11612:45tn The word “other” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. 11712:45tn Grk “the menservants and the maidservants.” The term here, used in both masculine and feminine grammatical forms, is παῖς (pais), which can refer to a slave, but also to a slave who is a personal servant, and thus regarded kindly (L&N 87.77). 11812:46tn The verb διχοτομέω (dicotomew) means to cut an object into two parts (L&N 19.19). This is an extremely severe punishment compared to the other two later punishments. To translate it simply as “punish” is too mild. If taken literally this servant is dismembered, although it is possible to view the stated punishment as hyperbole (L&N 38.12). 11912:46tn Or “unbelieving.” Here the translation employs the slightly more ambiguous “unfaithful,” which creates a link with the point of the parable – faithfulness versus unfaithfulness in servants. The example