Luke 12

In the mean time, when, &c., that is, at a time, when. The evangelists do not observe the same order in arranging the accounts which they give. The various instructions contained in this chapter are recorded by the other evangelists as having been given, respectively, on several different occasions.—Leaven; spirit.

Fear not therefore; that is, be not anxious about the result, when in situations of danger; leave it for God to decide. The ground of the Christian's peace of mind is not an assurance that his life will certainly be preserved, but that, although it may be lost, it can be lost only by God's direction. In sickness, in a storm at sea, or in a besieged city, he can never be sure but that his summons, as well as that of others, is about to come. His composure and happiness, therefore, rest, not on a groundless presentiment that he shall live, but on a conviction that it is God who will decide whether he shall live or die. In regard to the sparrows, it is not said that they are always saved, but that not one of them is forgotten.

The Holy Ghost; the Deity. From the connection in which this appears, in Matt. 12:32, where the circumstances which led to it are particularly detailed, it would seem that the sin which is made the subject of this terrible denunciation, is that of assuming towards Almighty God an attitude of direct and open hostility paid defiance.

Take ye no thought; be not anxious and afraid. The expression is used in the same sense in v. 22.

It was plainly improper for him to attempt to turn the authority of an inspired prophet of God, as he must have considered the Savior, into an instrument for accomplishing tits own private and pecuniary ends.

A man's life; his welfare, his happiness.

Take no thought; no uneasy anxious thought.

The meaning is, that the vital principle is, after all, in the power of God alone; and, while we are industrious and faithful in doing what we can to preserve life, and secure the comfortable enjoyment of it, we must still feel that we are at God's disposal, and that the great weight of responsibility rests not upon ourselves, but upon him.

Into the oven; as fuel.

The kingdom; the peace and happiness of Christ's spiritual kingdom.

Sell that ye have; so far as, in the exercise of prudence and sound discretion, is found necessary to relieve the wants of the destitute.

Be girded about. From the peculiar nature of the Oriental dress, girding the loins became a necessary preliminary to the performance of labor or service. (See v. 37; also John 13:4.) The meaning is, "be always prepared."

The third watch; near the morning.

This is a new metaphor, entirely distinct from what precedes, and illustrating, by a different example, the necessity of faithful Christian vigilance.

His lord; his master.—To give them their portion of meat; that is, to have the charge and oversight of the various family supplies. The sentiment is, "Who is the servant that may hope to be promoted to a station of trust and responsibility? The one who is found faithful and vigilant when his master is away." It does not seem to be a direct answer to Peter's question.

So doing; doing as described in v. 36-38.

He will cut him in sunder, and appoint him, &c. These words strongly express the idea of utter ruin and destruction.

Fire on the earth;—the terrible struggle and opposition by which the progress of the gospel was to be resisted.

A baptism to be baptized with; an overwhelming flood of sorrow and suffering to endure.—How am I straitened; oppressed, borne down, by the anticipation of these sufferings.

The meaning is, that the kingdom of Christ was not to be at once and peacefully established. Its coming was to give rise to a long and obstinate struggle.

The meaning is, simply, that it is better, as a general principle, to yield, or to compromise a difficulty than to contend.

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