Luke 12:1-12

Jesus tells the people to be careful how they live

1 While all this was happening, many thousands of people had come together near that place. The crowd was so big that people were almost walking over each other. Jesus began to talk first to his disciples. He said, ‘Be careful! Do not accept the yeast of the Pharisees. Do not be hypocrites like they are.

12:1People put yeast and water into flour to make bread. The yeast grows in the bread and this causes the bread to rise. A little bit of yeast causes a whole loaf to rise. People copied what the Pharisees did. So it was like yeast that was growing. One bad person can cause many other people to do wrong things.

2 Some people hide the things that they do. But there will be a time when other people will see those things clearly. Everyone will know all their secrets. 3 You may have said things secretly, in the dark of the night. But one day people will hear those things in the light of day. You may have said things quietly into someone's ear, behind a door that you have shut. But one day people will shout out those secrets loudly from the tops of the houses.

4 You are my friends, so I tell you this. Do not be afraid of those people who can kill only your body. After that, they can do nothing worse to you. 5 But I tell you, it is God that you should be afraid of. He has the power to kill people and then to throw them into hell. Yes, I am telling you, be very afraid of him.

6 Think about this. People sell five birds for two small coins, don't they? But each little bird is valuable to God. He knows about them all and takes care of them. 7 God even knows how many hairs there are on your head. So, do not be afraid of those people who are against you. You are more valuable to God than many little birds.

8 I tell you this. You should say clearly to other people, “I believe in Jesus.” If you do this, I, the Son of Man, will say to the angels of God, “This is someone who is my disciple.” 9 But if you say to other people, “I do not believe in Jesus,” I will say to the angels of God, “I do not know this person. He is not one of my disciples.”

10 Somebody may speak against me, the Son of Man, and God will forgive him. But if somebody says bad things against the Holy Spirit, God will not forgive that person.

12:10Jesus will forgive people that speak against him. They must say that they are sorry. And they must stop speaking in that way. The Holy Spirit shows them that they have spoken badly about Jesus. But some people will not listen to the Holy Spirit and they will speak against him. There is no way for God to forgive those people.

11 People will take you into their meeting places. They will make you stand in front of rulers and other people that have authority. They will want to show that you have done bad things. But do not be afraid of them. Do not be troubled about what you should say. 12 At that time, the Holy Spirit will teach you. He will tell you what words you should say.’