Luke 12

Luke 12 is the twelfth chapter of the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It records a number of teachings and parables told by Jesus Christ to "an innumerable multitude of people ... gathered together".[1][2] The book containing this chapter is anonymous, but early Christian tradition uniformly affirmed that Luke composed this Gospel as well as the Acts of the Apostles.[3]

Luke 12
Uncial 0191 (K. 9031).jpg
Fragment of Uncial 0191, 6th century bilingual Greek-Coptic manuscript of the Gospels with text of Luke 11:51-12:5
BookGospel of Luke
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part3


Codex Alexandrinus (c. AD 400-440), Luke 12:54-13:4.

The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 59 verses.

Textual witnessesEdit

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:

An innumerable multitudeEdit

An innumerable multitude of people had gathered together [1]

Scottish minister William Robertson Nicoll suggests this is "the largest crowd mentioned anywhere in the Gospels" [4] but Jesus speaks "first of all" to his disciples,[1] only turning to the multitude in verses 14-21, in response to a question from someone in the crowd, and again in verses 54-59. Peter asks (at verse 41) whether the parable of the faithful servant is addressed solely to the disciples or to the wider multitude (παντας, pantas: everyone).[5]

Parable of the Rich FoolEdit

The Parable of the Rich Fool by Rembrandt, 1627.

Among the canonical gospels of the New Testament, this parable of Jesus appears only in Luke's Gospel. The parable reflects the foolishness of attaching too much importance to wealth. An abbreviated version of the parable also appears in the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas (Saying 63).[6]

The parable has been depicted by artists such as Rembrandt (illustrated), Jan Luyken, James Tissot, and David Teniers the Younger.

Do Not WorryEdit

Seek the kingdom of GodEdit

Verse 31Edit

But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.[7]

Similarly in Matthew 6:33, with a slightly longer text: Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.[8]

Verse 34Edit

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.[9]

Cross reference: Matthew 6:21

I came to bring fire to the earthEdit

Verse 49Edit

"I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!" [10]

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges makes reference to an ‘unwritten saying’ of Christ, He who is near me is near the fire, which is recorded by Ignatius, Origen and Didymus.[11]

Make peace with your adversaryEdit

The final verses of the chapter (verses 57-59) make use of an illustration based on a pecuniary claim [12] heard before the magistrates' bench (Greek: ἄρχοντα, archonta, a Lukan word also appearing four times in the Acts of the Apostles):[13]

Verse 57Edit

Even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right? [14]


In the book "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" by J. K. Rowling, it is written that the inscription on the tombstone of Ariana Dumbledore reads "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also".[15] This is taken from the King James Version of Luke 12:34 or Matthew 6:21, which are identical.[16][17]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Luke 12:1
  2. ^ Halley, Henry H. Halley's Bible Handbook: an Abbreviated Bible Commentary. 23rd edition. Zondervan Publishing House. 1962.
  3. ^ Holman Illustrated Bible Handbook. Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee. 2012.
  4. ^ Nicoll, W. R., Expositor's Greek Testament on Luke 12, accessed 19 June 2018
  5. ^ Luke 12:41
  6. ^ Gospel of Thomas: Lamb translation and Patterson/Meyer translation
  7. ^ Luke 12:31 KJV
  8. ^ Matthew 6:33
  9. ^ Luke 12:34 KJV
  10. ^ Luke 12:49 NRSV
  11. ^ Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on Luke 12, accessed 19 August 2018
  12. ^ Meyer, H. (1880), Meyer's N T Commentary on Luke 12, accessed 23 June 2018
  13. ^ Englishman's Concordance, ἄρχοντα, accessed 23 June 2018
  14. ^ Luke 12:57 NKJV
  15. ^ Rowling, J. K. (2007). Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Book 7 (illustrated ed.). Arthur A. Levine Books. pp. 326. ISBN 9780545010221.
  16. ^ Garcia, Elena (19 October 2007). "Harry Potter author reveals books' Christian allegory, her struggling faith". Christian Today. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  17. ^ Egerton, Joe (26 November 2010). "From Harry Potter to Jesus Christ". Thinking Faith. Retrieved 7 April 2019.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Luke 11
Chapters of the Bible
Gospel of Luke
Succeeded by
Luke 13