Luke 12:32-40

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

June 27, 2001


Jesus has been talking about greed and how we as Christians need to come to the point of trusting God to take care of our needs.  Jesus said,

(Luke 12:31 KJV)  But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

:32-34  Treasures in heaven

:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

fearphobeo – to put to flight by terrifying (to scare away); to fear, be afraid; to be struck with fear, to be seized with alarm

little flock – Jesus is referring to His disciples, whom He is talking with (Luke 12:22)

good pleasureeudokeo – it seems good to one, is one’s good pleasure; think it good, choose, determine, decide; to do willingly; to be well pleased with, take pleasure in, to be favourably inclined towards one


God cares about you.

We don’t have to be afraid because God cares very, very much for us.
Suppose you work for some big corporation like Boeing Aircraft.  And you are told, “Just seek the best for Boeing, and you will be taken care of.”  There are a couple of questions you might like to consider.  First, does Boeing have control over the world and your life?  What if something happens that Boeing is unable to take care of?  Secondly, does Boeing really care that much about you?  When the next round of layoffs hit, will you be one of them?  Can you trust Boeing?
When it comes to seeking God’s kingdom and having Him take care of us, we need to remember that God is in complete control.  And even better than that, He cares for us.
(Rom 8:32 KJV)  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

:33 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.

sellpoleo – to barter, to sell; sellers

that ye havehuparchonta – possessions, goods, wealth, property

almseleemosune – mercy, pity; esp. as exhibited in giving alms, charity; the benefaction itself, a donation to the poor, alms

bagsbalantion – a money bag, purse

wax not oldpalaioo – to make ancient or old; to become old, to be worn out; of things worn out by time and use

a treasurethesauros – the place in which good and precious things are collected and laid up; a treasury; storehouse, repository, magazine; the things laid up in a treasury, collected treasures

faileth notanekleiptos – unfailing

Jesus is saying that a person who takes their earthly resources and does something with those resources, like helping the poor, will be creating treasures in heaven.

:34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

treasurethesauros – the place in which good and precious things are collected and laid up; a treasury; storehouse, repository, magazine; the things laid up in a treasury, collected treasures

heartkardia – the heart; the centre and seat of spiritual life; the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours; of the understanding, the faculty and seat of the intelligence; of the will and character; of the soul so far as it is affected and stirred in a bad way or good, or of the soul as the seat of the sensibilities, affections, emotions, desires, appetites, passions


Where is your treasure?

What kinds of things matter most to us? What kinds of things do we spend our time on? What kinds of things are you passionate about?  That’s where you heart is.
God’s desire is that we be passionate about the things of heaven.
Thomas Hart Benton, U.S. statesman, was a Democratic senator from Missouri for thirty years (1821-51) and ardently promoted the opening up of the West.  Benton accurately foresaw the dangers into which the slavery question was leading the Union.
When Benton’s house in Washington was destroyed by fire, he was summoned from Congress to view the ruin.  He gazed at it for a while, then said, “It makes dying easier.  There’s so much less to leave.”

-- The Little Brown Book Of Anecdotes, Ed. Clifton Fadiman, (Boston: Little Brown & Co., 1985), p. 55.

Are your treasures in a place where they can be stolen?
When the things that are precious to you can be harmed or stolen on earth, then you are vulnerable.  The enemy can come and rip you off and make you ineffective because you become so distraught over the loss of your treasure.
(Mat 19:16-26 KJV)  And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? {17} And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. {18} He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, {19} Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. {20} The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? {21} Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. {22} But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. {23} Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. {24} And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. {25} When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? {26} But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Jesus spoke to this man’s heart.  This isn’t necessarily something that Jesus requires of everyone, He was dealing with this man with his own heart.
I’ve often had a difficult time with this passage because I wonder what I’d do if Jesus asked me to do this.  Why do I have a hard time with this?  Because I find that I often treasure the things on earth much more than the things in heaven.
I find that the less I hold onto the things on this earth and the more I value the things in heaven, the less problem I have with these verses.

:35-48  Be ready

:35 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;

loinsosphus – the hip (loin); to gird, gird about, the loins

be girded aboutperizonnumi – to fasten garments with a girdle or belt; to gird one’s self

People wore long robes with a belt or rope around the waist.  When you need to get moving, you would gather up the bottom of your robe and tuck it into your belt, this was called “girding the loins”, and it speaks about getting ready for action.

lightsluchnos – a lamp, candle, that is placed on a stand or candlestick

burningkaio – to set on fire, light, burning; to burn, consume with fire

Your “light” is Jesus working through you.  Not just the things you say about Jesus, but the things you do for Jesus.

(Mat 5:14-16 KJV)  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. {15} Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. {16} Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

:36 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.

that waitprosdechomai – to receive to one’s self, to admit, to give access to one’s self; to expect: the fulfilment of promises

the weddinggamos – a wedding or marriage festival, a wedding banquet, a wedding feast; marriage, matrimony

immediatelyeutheos – straightway, immediately, forthwith

The picture seems to be where the master is the bridegroom, and he has gone off to marry his bride.  Jewish weddings were usually held at night, and when the bridegroom returns with his bride, he isn’t going to want to be left standing at the door.

This makes me also think of the verse,

(Rev 3:20 KJV)  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

:37 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.

blessedmakarios – blessed, happy

servantsdoulos – a slave, bondman, man of servile condition; a servant, attendant

watchinggregoreuo – to watch; metaph. give strict attention to, be cautious, active; to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one

he shall gird himselfperizonnumi – to fasten garments with a girdle or belt; to gird one’s self

sit downanaklino – to lean against, lean upon; to lay down; to make or bid to recline

will come forthparerchomai – to go past, pass by; to come near, come forward, arrive

servediakoneo – to be a servant, attendant, domestic, to serve, wait upon

At a Jewish wedding, the groom and his bride are treated like a king and queen.  Yet in this picture, Jesus goes against type and will be serving those who are faithful.


Jesus will serve us.

Does this boggle your mind or what?
Jesus never gets beyond being the “servant of all”.  He chooses to be a servant.
Even though He has the “name above every name”, He will serve us.
(Mat 20:25-28 KJV)  But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. {26} But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; {27} And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: {28} Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

:38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

watchphulake – guard, watch; of the time (of night) during which guard was kept, a watch i.e. a period of time during which part of the guard was on duty, and at the end of which others relieved them.  As the earlier Greeks divided the night commonly into three parts, so, previous to the exile, the Israelites also had three watches in a night; subsequently, however, after they became subject to the Romans, they adopted the Roman custom of dividing the night into four watches

second watch – from 9:00 p.m. until midnight.

third watch – from midnight until 3:00 a.m.

I don’t think this means that we need to stay up all night with toothpicks in our eyelids waiting for the Lord to return.  But it does mean that we ought to be ready at all times.  If the Lord returned in the middle of the night, would you be excited to see Him?

:39 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.

goodmanoikodespotes (“house” + “master”) – master of the house, householder

would have watchedgregoreuo – to watch; metaph. give strict attention to, be cautious, active; to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one

to be broken throughdiorusso (“through” + “dig”) – to dig through: a house

:40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

readyhetoimos – prepare ready

ye thinkdokeo – to be of opinion, think, suppose; to seem, to be accounted, reputed


Are you ready?

What if you were to find out that Jesus is coming in forty-five minutes?  Would you like to be excused to take care of some unfinished business?
If you’re not ready for Jesus to return, what needs to happen for you to get ready?
The saintly Presbyterian pastor Robert Murray McCheyne sometimes asked people, “Do you believe that Jesus is coming today?” If they replied in the negative, he would say, “Then you had better be ready, for He is coming at an hour when you think not!”