Luke 12:1-48


‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

‘Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.

‘But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour’ (Luke 12:32-40).


You are asking for nearly the entirety of a long and complex chapter. The author includes many teachingsindeed, many of the same wordsthat can be found in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew (chapters 5-7). The important difference is that whereas Matthew has Jesus speaking only to his closest followers very early in his public ministry, Luke has him speaking at the very peak of his fame (“The crowd gathered by the thousands,” we're told at 12:1). It is not feasible to cover the entire chapter in one response; let’s look instead at the very heart of Jesus’ message here, which I think is found in verses 32-40.

Jesus has been teaching that a new dimension of consciousness—“the kingdom of heaven”—is seeking to be expressed through them. Although it is centered in infinite love, its arrival will be preceded by great resistance, and many challenges. He begins this passage by assuring them there is nothing to fear so long as they—and we—remain centered in our innate divinity—the Christ Presence that is our true identity. He then offers some practical advice on how to live in the meantime. Shift priorities to the realm of Spirit, making the loving choices that will allow kingdom consciousness to express. In Twelve-Step recovery work, this is called ‘acting as if.’ If we wait for the kingdom to appear before we adopt the appropriate consciousness, we’ll wait in vain. We must live as if the kingdom is at hand—as indeed it is, according to Jesus—and stay alert to every opportunity to make new choices. It’s important to note, I think, the alert servants do not serve the Master when he comes; the Master serves them. The kingdom is not created out of an energy of obedience, but in a realization of infinite possibility.


Rev. Ed