Luke 12:22

ESV And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on.
NIV Then Jesus said to his disciples: 'Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.
NASB And He said to His disciples, 'For this reason I tell you, do not worry about your life, as to what you are to eat; nor for your body, as to what you are to wear.
CSB Then he said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, don't worry about your life, what you will eat; or about the body, what you will wear.
NLT Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, 'That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life — whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear.
KJV 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.

What does Luke 12:22 mean?

Jesus is traveling through a crowd with His disciples (Luke 12:1). He is trying to teach His disciples not to fear physical death. What they should fear is God who can cast people into hell. If God knows the sparrows, He certainly knows His own people and will keep them eternally safe (Luke 12:4–7). He also told the parable of the rich fool, explaining that the security of earthly treasures does nothing for their eternal state. There is no justification for the rich fool retiring amongst his riches when he had not built a relationship with God (Luke 12:15–21). Now He turns back to the disciples to talk about trusting God for their bare necessities (Luke 12:13–14).

With prior teachings in mind, Jesus points out that panicked fear over food and clothing is equally useless (Luke 12:22–31). God will provide food and clothing for His children as needed.

It's important to remember that in this time and place, finding enough food to survive could take a day's work, and clothing was valuable. People of that region tried to make Jesus king because He fed them one meal (John 6:15, 26). The soldiers who crucified Jesus valued His clothes enough to gamble for them while He died (John 19:23–24). This lesson is about the bare minimum needed to survive. This is not a lesson about a filled pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. When He speaks about clothing, He means a single inner garment, a long outer tunic, a belt, a cloak, and hopefully sandals. He's not talking about a walk-in closet filled with outfits for every event and type of weather. Poor people only had one set of clothing. As Paul will later say, "But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content" (1 Timothy 6:8).

Especially easy to misunderstand is what Jesus is not promising. He is not guaranteeing that none of His followers will starve to death or even find themselves without clothing. In the context of the chapter, He's pointing out that worrying about such things takes more energy than trusting God. And God can provide in all circumstances. Even if we starve to death or die due to exposure to the elements, we know that though our physical body is dead, God values His children and will give us eternal life. Whatever we need—to accomplish His will—we will be given.

Luke 12:22–23 is nearly identical to Matthew 6:25 except Matthew includes "or what you will drink," although Luke includes drink in verse 29. The similarities between Luke 12:22–31 and Matthew 6:25–33 suggest Luke may have taken this event from the Sermon on the Mount and put it here for thematic consistency. But there are other subtle differences that indicate this might be a distinct event. For example, Luke has fewer rhetorical questions and more statements than Matthew.
What is the Gospel?
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