Today’s Chocolate: Theo Orange 70% Dark Chocolate
Today’s Passage: Luke 12
Last chapter, Jesus drew the ire of the Pharisees. Between refusing to authenticate his healings and exorcisms with a “sign,” not ceremonially washing before meals (even as a guest in a Pharisee’s house), and openly criticizing their showy religious posturing, he’s earned himself a spot on their poop list. So of course he opens up his teachings in Luke 12 with further jabs at the Pharisees.
I wrote a bunch of paragraphs about the Pharisees and their legalism. But after Jesus gets his critiques in–well, I say “critiques,” but it’s really just one critique. “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (1), Jesus says, and that’s it. He doesn’t dwell on them. And I was using that little mention of the Pharisees to springboard onto a soapbox and go off on my own tangents about how to accept forgiveness without falling into permissiveness.
No, Jesus’ overwhelming focus in this chapter is a simple message: don’t be afraid! Don’t fear! Don’t worry! He illustrates the theme with God’s care for sparrows (6-7), God’s provision for Jesus’ disciples when they catch flack for following him (11-12), and God’s day-to-day material provision for his children (24, 28). Don’t hold too tightly to your stuff, he tells us. Your anxiety over owning objects won’t help you acquire more of them; besides, even if it would, you could die tomorrow, and you’d have wasted your last day being anxious.
My concerns may not be exactly over food and clothing, but I’ve certainly got my worries. I’d do well to remember that God cares about me and that he’ll take care of me and my concerns. Yes, it is more complicated than that. But there’s still a very real sense in which it’s as simple as that.