Do Not Be Afraid, Little Flock
Sep 7, 2020 2221
This is a wonderful promise:
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom (Luke 12:32, NIV).
I wonder whether followers of Jesus will still be felling all warm and fluffy inside about this promise when they realise that it’s actually about money?
Whenever I say that Jesus spoke more about money than almost any other topic (more than about prayer or forgiveness, for example), I am always contacted by people who tell me,
“That can’t be true! I don’t remember that being the case.”
That’s because we’ve been traditionally taught to read the Bible in a certain way, and we ignore all the inconvenient bits.
Let’s look at the whole context of what Jesus says here:
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Luke 12:32-34, NIV).
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
Let’s look at what Jesus is actually saying here. It is in the context of money. It is in the context of selling your possessions and giving them to the poor. It is about your wallets and you purses. It is about what you value, so that he concludes by telling us that where your treasure is, is where your heart will also be.
When Jesus says, “Do not be afraid, little flock,” Jesus is telling us not to be afraid to value the Father’s treasures in his kingdom above the financial treasures of this world, even if that means selling our possessions and giving them to the poor. Is there any other way in which Jesus’ teaching can be read here?
That doesn’t mean that God is asking you to sell all your possessions and to give it to the poor. But he is telling you that if he were to ask you to do that, you should have no fear. The principal lesson here is that we are not to live in fear of financial scarcity, and we are not to make that the determining factor in the way we live. Instead, we are to value our heavenly treasure far more than our earthly possessions. In how we relate to money, God’s children are to fearlessly live out the principles of the kingdom of God, in showing love, compassion, and generosity to others.
Your life is not to be driven by a fear of material lack.
This is entirely different to how the world around you says you should live. In fact, your upbringing and your society tell you that what Jesus is saying here is crazy! There are even versions of Christianity today that tell you that your responsibility is to accumulate as much as you can, so that you might be able to one day in the future help others out of your surplus. In the end, this aligns with the prevailing worldview of our societies, that tells us that accumulation of money and material possessions is our chief duty, lest we end up without. All of these perspectives are driven by fear.
But God shows us a better way. He tells that our lives are not to be driven by a fundamental fear of material lack, but instead by the joyful acceptance of what he has already given us. He has given us all the riches of eternity in our hand. We will work hard, certainly, but not for the pursuit of our own worldly good, but so that we may bless others with our Father’s bounty.
Our true treasure is to be in heaven, and not on this earth. That’s why we will never need to be afraid.