Luke 12:1-12: Preparations for Persecution

The love of man’s praise and the fear of man’s wrath are the sins that Jesus warns His disciples of in this next section, 12:1-12. Jesus has just painted a target on His back and the back of His disciples by His confrontation with the religious leaders in 11:37-54. He has spoken to the Pharisees about their own sins; now He will speak to His disciples about the Pharisees sins. This next section is all about preparing for persecution. Jesus has kicked the hornet’s nest, they will kill Him, but Jesus has also just prophesied that they will kill and persecute the prophets and apostles that He is sending, 11:49. The rest of chapter 12 can read under the title of Trust and Obey, as Christ calls His disciples to faithfulness in the face of opposition.

Today we will be looking at 12:1-12, and we will be dividing this section up under three headings. Each section deals with a command in light of the coming resistance, an evaluation of the sins of the religious leaders, and a reminder of something we find in God to help us resist sin and do our duty. Firstly, v1-3, we are to avoid hypocrisy considering the judgement of God, here Jesus reveals that the sins of the hypocrites will inevitably be judged. Secondly, v4-7, we are not to fear while trusting in the care of God, here Jesus reveals the weakness of the persecutors to do any real harm. Thirdly, v8-12, we are to confess Christ depending upon the Spirit of God, here Jesus exposes the nature of the persecutor’s sin as blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.