<< Luke 12: The Lord's Care >>
As the Lord journeyed with a company of disciples towards Jerusalem, He taught them as they walked and as they rested by the way. He told them how he takes care of every little bird and flower, and still more of every one of His children. The birds are busy building their nests, and the flowers are busy too, growing and making fruit; but they are not anxious. We ought to be busy and useful, but not anxious, for the Lord is taking care of us. We ought not to care too much about things of this world, for soon we shall go to the other world and leave them behind. If we are busy and trustful like the birds and flowers, we are ready whenever the Lord comes for us. The lesson reminds us of words that the Lord had spoken in the Sermon on the Mount.
And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.
Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 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. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; 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. 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. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 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. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.---Luke XII. 13-40.
Author: William L. Worcester 1904
The Lord feeding of the birds >> The Lord nourishes the little thoughts of goodness in our minds
The Lord giving beauty to the flowers >> His care for little truths growing beautiful from Him
Money and natural good things are left behind when we die >> Knowledge that is not made good use of goes from us when we die, or before
Money or learning that is used to do good >> Develops a heavenly character and is transformed into heavenly treasure which endures forever
In heaven, all good things are safe from natural moth and rust >> In heaven, we are safe from selfish feelings and false thoughts
Black ravens >> Such affections which are quite imperfect and ignorant; yet the Lord loves and cares for them
Flowers >> Growing intelligence and pleasant thoughts which the Lord makes beautiful beyond the wisdom of Solomon
The loins are girded >> Affections are held firmly to their purpose
Your lights are burning >> Thoughts are clear and bright
Watch >> Be awake to the spiritual use of our possessions and of all things of natural life
Coming in the second or third watch >> Coming at any time of life
Pictures: James Tissot ----Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum