Luke 12 covers a wide spectrum of topics. We pick up to find Jesus’ popularity rising to the level where there are thousands of people who are following him. There are so many, in fact, that they were trampling on one another. I love Luke’s details, they just don’t always make sense, but are sure to give you a smile. Jesus teaches us on the topic of making sure that we are aware that whatever we do in secret, really is not in secret. On the way home from Puerto Rico yesterday they showed movies on your own personal screen on the seat in front of you on the plane. For some reason I began watching Black Mass which is a movie about Whitey Bulger, the infamous gangster. There is a scene where his son is in trouble because he punched one of his classmates in the face. His dad asked him: “What was your mistake?” And the boy answered, “I punched someone in the face.” The dad responded by saying “No, that is not the mistake, you were just defending yourself. Your mistake was that you punched him when a teacher saw you. If you had punched him when there was no one there, then no one would have known and it would have been as if nothing ever happened.” As you can imagine his wife, the boy’s mother, was mortified. But isn’t that what we think. If we can get away with it, if there is no one to see what we do, then we don’t have to worry about it.
Jesus is trying to teach us that nothing we do stays in the dark. Our loving God knows everything about us, considers us more important than the sparrows for whom he provides, and so our attempts to sneak in a life that is against the will of God is really only hurting ourselves. All things come out in the open.
Jesus then switches subjects and addresses the favorite topic of the end times. Once again, and this is consistently the case, Jesus reminds us that we will never know when the end times will be so our responsibility is to be always ready. The picture depicted of those times is not a happy one. We find families divided against each other. Jesus calls the crowds hypocrites because we can tell that when the wind is blowing from the south that the days will be getting warmer. And yet we are not able to distinguish the fact that the world has claimed our attention and we would much rather spend our time with that which pleases ourselves rather than be ready for the coming of Christ by doing that which please the loving Father.