Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 549
Context: In Chapter 12 of the Gospel of St. Luke, Jesus warns His disciples of the dangers that lie in hypocrisy and impresses upon them that no man can have secrets from God. Nothing can be hidden from Him; therefore, what they do must be done openly and without fear. For, as He tells them, they have no need to fear those who have power only to kill the body, "and after that have no more that they can do." The only one they must fear is one who can punish after death, who knows the most minute and trifling things, let alone the things that are important. Man is not to be feared, but God is. Jesus then gives examples of the various ways, based on hypocrisy, in which men can earn their own damnation. If a man confesses his acceptance of Jesus before men, then Jesus will transmit that acceptance to God; but the man who denies Jesus publicly is automatically denied before God. Those who speak against Jesus as a man may be forgiven, but there is no forgiveness for those who speak against the Holy Ghost. To speak against the man is one thing, to speak against the Faith is another. In this way Jesus impresses upon His disciples that they are not to give way to physical fear when under pressure, or to quibble or be evasive when their mission leads them into personal danger; God will know what is in their minds. He then tells His disciples that they will be upheld in time of trial, for the Holy Ghost will tell them in their hour of need what it is that they should say. He then warns against covetousness and presents a parable. This concerns a wealthy man who has spent his whole life piling up material things so that he can retire and enjoy them.
And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
And he said, This will I do: I will pull down all my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.
The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.
Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?
And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?
If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?
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