Translation Chapter 12
Beware of hypocrisy
12 Meanwhile a crowd numbering thousands had come together, so that people were stepping on each other. ‘Īsā began to speak first to his disciples, ‘Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy. 2 Everything that is covered up will be exposed, and everything that is hidden will be made known. 3 So then, whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you’ve whispered into someone’s ear behind closed doors will be announced publicly from the roof tops.
Trust in Allah
4‘I tell you, my friends; don’t be afraid of those who kill the body, but after that can’t do anything worse. 5 But I’ll warn you about whom you should fear: fear him who, after killing, has authority to throw you into jahannam. Yes, I tell you, fear him!
6 ‘Aren’t five sparrows sold for two small copper coins? Yet not one of them escapes Allah’s notice. 7 Even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.
8 ‘I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me in the presence of other people, the Son of Manwill acknowledge them in the presence of Allah’s angels. 9 But anyone who disowns me in the presence of other people will be disowned in the presence of Allah’s angels. 10All who speak a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven. But anyone who commits blasphemy against the Holy Spiritwill not be forgiven.
11‘When they drag you before synagogues, rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourselves or what you should say, 12 for at that time the Holy Spirit will teach you what to say.’
The parable of the rich fool
13 Someone in the crowd said to ‘Īsā, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to give me my share of the inheritance.’
14 ‘Īsā replied, ‘Brother, who appointed me a judge to divide the inheritance between you?’ 15 Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against every kind of greed; life is not about gaining more and more possessions.’
16 He told them a parable. ‘There was a rich man whose land produced abundant harvests. 17 He thought to himself, “What should I do? I don’t have anywhere to store my crops.”
18 ‘Then he said, “This is what I will do; I’ll knock down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I’ll store all my grain and my wealth. 19 Then I’ll say to myself, ‘You’ve got a large amount of wealth stored up, that will last for many years. Take life easy, eat, drink, enjoy yourself.’”
20 ‘But Allah said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be required of you. Then who will get the things you have prepared for yourself?”
21 ‘This is how it will be for those who store up things for themselves, but are not rich in relation to Allah.’
‘Do not worry’
22 Then ‘Īsā said to his disciples, ‘This is why I tell you, don’t worry about your life - what you are going to eat; or about your body - what you are going to wear. 23 For life is more important than food, and the body is more important than clothes. 24Look at the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storeroom nor barn, but Allah provides for them. And how much more valuable are you than the birds! 25 Can any of you by worrying add a few inchesto your height?26 Since you can’t do even this small thing, why do you worry about anything else?
27 ‘Look at the wild flowers and how they grow. They don’t toil or spin cloth. But I tell you, not even Sulaymān in all his splendour was clothed like one of these. 28 If that is how Allah clothes the grass in the field, which is here today and thrown in the oven tomorrow, how much more will he clothe you - people of little faith. 29 Don’t strive after what you are going to eat or what you are going to drink, and don’t be anxious about it.30 For the nations of the world strive after all these things, but your heavenly Fatherknows that you need them. 31 But strive for his kingdomand these things will be provided for you.
32 ‘Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your heavenly Father is delighted to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Make for yourselves moneybags that won’t wear out, treasure in heaven that will never decrease, where no thief gets near and no moth consumes. 34 For where your treasure is, there also will be your heart.
35 ‘Tuck your clothing into your belts so that you are ready for action, and keep your lamps lit, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding feast. As soon as he arrives and knocks, they open the door for him. 37 Blessed are those servants whose master finds them awake and watching when he arrives. Truly I tell you, he’ll tuck his clothing into his belt so that he’s ready for action, then he’ll make them reclineat the table, and he’ll come and serve them. 38 Even if the master comes in the middle of the night or towards day break and finds his servants ready – blessed are those servants.
39 ‘Be sure of this; that if the householder had known what time the thief was going to come, he wouldn’t have let his house be broken into. 40 You too must be ready, because the Son of Manis coming at an hour when you don’t expect him.’
41 Peter asked, ‘Master, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?’
42 The Lord said, ‘Who then is the faithful and wise household manager whom the master puts in charge of his servants, to give them their share of food at the appropriate time? 43 Blessed is that servant whose master comes back and finds him doing this. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put that servant in charge of all his property. 45 But suppose that servant says to himself, “My master is taking a long time to come back”, and so he begins to beat both the male and female servants, and to eat, drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will arrive on a day when he is not expecting him, and at an hour he doesn’t know. He will cut that servant in pieces and give him the fate of the unbelievers.
47 ‘The servant who knows his master’s will but does not get ready or do what his master wants, will be beaten severely. 48 But the servant who does not know his master’s will and does things that deserve punishment, will be beaten lightly. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required. And from anyone who has been entrusted with much, much more will be demanded.
Fire and division
49 ‘I came to throw fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50I have a dreadful experience to pass through, and how distressed I am until it’s over.
51 ‘Do you think I came to give peace to the earth? No, I tell you, not peace, but division. 52 For from now on five in one family will be divided; three against two and two against three. 53 They’ll be divided; father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’
Interpreting the present time
54 ‘Īsā said to the crowds, ‘When you see a cloud appearing in the west, immediately you say, “Rain’s on its way” – and that’s what happens. 55 And when a south wind blows, you say, “It’s going to get very hot” - and it does. 56You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; so why don’t you know how to interpret this present time?
57 ‘Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you are going with your opponent before a magistrate, while you are on the way, try hard to settle the matter with him, or he may drag you before the judge. Then the judge will hand you over to the officer, and the officer will throw you into jail. 59 I tell you, you won’t get out until you’ve paid the last penny.’
When Sayyidnā ‘Īsā (hpbuu)speaks of Allah as ‘Father’ of his disciples, he clearly does not mean a physical or biological relationship. Obviously, each of ‘Īsā al-Masīh’s disciples had their own natural biological human father. Rather, he is teaching that the relationship of his disciples to Allah is in some ways like that of children to their father in that Allah loves, cares and provides for them, and they in turn should trust him. To highlight this fact, we have translated into English as ‘heavenlyFather’. This demonstrates clearly that Allah’s fatherhood is of a different kind from human fatherhood. See also v32. For more detail, see Appendix B, ‘The Translation: “spiritualSon of Allah”‘.
Or, ‘his reign’. See also v32. Allah SWT always has reigned and always will reign. However, many Jews of ‘Īsā al-Masīh’s day were waiting and hoping for the age to come, when Allah’s reign would be complete and unopposed. At that time, Allah would completely overthrow evil, put the world right and rescue his people from their pagan enemies. In line with this, al-Masīh ‘Īsā (hpbuu)taught that the Kingdom would come in completeness at the qiyāmat or resurrection. However, he also redefined the concept of ‘kingdom of Allah’ by identifying it with his own coming and mission. For more details, see Appendix D, ‘The Kingdom of Allah’.
The ‘little flock’ are al-Masīh ‘Īsā’s disciples. In the earlier Holy Books the people of Allah are sometimes referred to as sheep (eg Zabūr, Psalm 100:3,‘We are his (Allah’s) people, the flock of his pasture’) and Allah is referred to as the Shepherd (eg Zabūr, Psalm 23:1, ‘The LORD is my Shepherd...’).
‘The Son of Man’ is a title al-Masīh ‘Īsā (hpbuu)often used for himself. His use of ‘Son of Man’ here seems to refer to the Book of the Prophet Daniel 7:13-14, where the Prophet Daniel (pbuh)recounts a vision he received from Allah:
‘In the visions of the night, I saw one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He came to the Ancient of Days (a title of Allah) and was presented before him. He was given dominion, honour and kingship; all peoples, nations and languages will serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom will never be destroyed.’
See Appendix E, ‘The Title: “the Son of Man”‘ for more details.