Summary: How attached are you to this world and how much do you worry about being provided for here? How attached are you to heaven? What happens when God doesn’t answer your prayers?
Moving is an all-encompassing experience. It’s been some years since I’ve had to move my family, but I remember it well. Especially if you are moving yourself it really causes you to examine all the stuff you’ve accumulated over the years and get rid of a lot of junk. As the day of the move nears you find yourself subtly cutting ties with co-workers, acquaintances, neighbors, and even places. You start saying things like "that’s the last time we’ll eat at this restaurant." And you start thinking about preparing for the new place - what will I need there. Should I open a bank account? Where am I going to live?
I bring this up because for the person who belongs to Jesus Christ we should be in a constant state of preparing for a move - not from one town to another - but from one dimension to another. We are destined for heaven. That means that our roots here on earth need to be shallow, and our tentacles towards heaven should be long and strong.
In the second half of chapter 12, Luke gives us Jesus’ perspective on how we as saints should live while on earth, and where our activities and energies should be focused. It’s challenging and freeing at the same time.
Verses 22 - 34 Have Shallow Roots on Earth
Verses 35 - 48 Be Ready to Cut Loose at Anytime
Verses 49 - 53 Don’t Let Anything Hold you Back
Verses 54 - 59 Recognize the times and get busy packing!
Verses 22 - 34 Have Shallow Roots on Earth
We are physical beings. As such we focus naturally on the physical around us. Jesus isn’t saying not to eat or drink or breathe or wear clothes or live in houses. I think He is saying two things really: 1. Don’t spend time focusing on the stuff here on earth to the point of worrying about it. 2. Do focus on the stuff in heaven - which is a reality more real than earth.
Earth is going away. 2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. ESV
But heaven will not go away. And there is a way to store up treasures in that place that cannot be taken away. We do it by seeking God’s kingdom - I think the key is seeking to be transformed in your character by the Holy Spirit, then allow God’s Spirit to move you to action on His behalf.
Anxiety - the Greek word comes from a root that means to divide. Anxiety arises when something steals away our focus and moves it to something else. In this case it moves us away from serving God to serving whatever we worry about.
Worry is not a sin, and we all experience it. In fact, God uses worry to help us grow by putting us in anxious circumstances to help us trust Him more. What are the antidotes to worry? 1. Realize who is caring for you. 2. Realize there are more important things than what we worry about. Having that focus on preparing to move to God’s kingdom by building spiritual strength leads us to the next section:
Verses 35 - 48 Be Ready to Get To Work At All Times
This series of statements is a great picture. Instead of sitting around worrying about material things, we should trust that God will provide what we need when we need it. Instead of worrying we should be waiting - ready to go to work - ready for our next assignment.
"Dressed for action" pictures someone with their outer cloak tucked into their sash or belt, ready to run, fight, travel, or work.
"2nd or 3rd watch" 9:00pm - 3:00am
The master will serve - not likely to happen on earth, but in heaven. Jesus said "I came not to be served, but to serve and give my life as a ransom for many." In God’s economy, the servant is the ideal position.
God’s delaying His return is not a trick to catch you off guard, but He is waiting to get a many people in the kingdom as possible.
So apparently Peter wondered if Jesus was telling them how to be leaders. So Jesus goes into some detail about the attitude of the leader in His church.
A couple of things to point out here - leaders have more responsibility. Abusing your position of power is simply not allowed. Period. Notice the kind of responsibility Jesus talks about: "giving their portion of food at the proper time." Often this is the role of the leader - feeding the protecting the flock.