What does Luke 12:29 mean?
ESV: And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried.
NIV: And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.
NASB: And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying.
CSB: Don't strive for what you should eat and what you should drink, and don't be anxious.
NLT: And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things.
KJV: And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
NKJV: “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.
Verse Commentary:
This is Jesus' summary statement of the previous verses. God provides food for the ravens; He can provide for His followers. Worry is useless. His point is not that Christians ought not work or make any effort to procure food. The day before the crucifixion, Jesus will tell Peter and John, "Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it" (Luke 22:8). That instruction meant that they were to buy the food they needed. Nor is it saying that God will always feed His followers and we will never die of starvation. Neither are the message of the text.

"Seek" is connected to "worry." The main thrust of the verse and the passage is "nor be worried." Worry, in this context, means the kind of fearful, angst-ridden panic that comes from a lack of trust. That will not provide food or clothes, nor add a single minute to our lives. These things are in God's power and providence. He has given us life for a much greater purpose: to seek His kingdom (Luke 12:31).

The word "seek" appears in Luke 12:29, 30, and 31. It means to make looking for something a priority. The context of the parable of the rich fool (Luke 12:13–21) and Jesus' comments about the permanence of the treasure of God's kingdom adds the idea of accumulation (Luke 12:32–34). We strive to acquire and accumulate what we desire. Jesus' point is that it does no good to prioritize stockpiling needs of this world that we can lose by death, theft, or destruction. Our lives are more important than that. Better to seek the kingdom of God, "a treasure in the heavens that does not fail" (Luke 12:33).
Verse Context:
Luke 12:22–34 records Jesus telling His disciples to lay down anxiety and trust God for physical needs. He has already told them to reject fame, fear of death, and reliance on riches (Luke 12:1–21). Later, He will tell them they may have to leave family, as well (Luke 12:49–53). Instead, they need to focus on the task that Jesus will give them (Luke 12:35–48), to build the church after His ascension. Matthew 6:25–34 covers the same teaching, although perhaps at a different time and place.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus teaches the disciples about proper priorities. This includes recognizing that God knows all things, even secrets. Believers should honor God more than they fear death, or than they worry about things like food and clothes. Christians are to remain ready for Christ's return, even as faith separates those who believe from those who do not. These ideas revolve around the central theme of verse 34: that a person's heart reflects what they value most.
Chapter Context:
Luke 12:1—13:9 compares the world with the kingdom of God. Jesus has condemned the hypocrisy of the Pharisees (Luke 11:14–54). He now instructs His disciples to reject the fame and security that Pharisees crave, and hold lightly to their lives, wealth, security, and even family. He then warns the crowd to be wise about their relationships with other people and with God. The next two units each include a miracle and teaching on God's kingdom and salvation (Luke 13:10—15:32). Then the final section in the "travelogue" repeats that three-unit pattern (Luke 16:1—19:27) before Jesus arrives in Jerusalem.
Book Summary:
Luke was a traveling companion of Paul (Acts 16:10) and a physician (Colossians 4:14). Unlike Matthew, Mark, and John, Luke writes his gospel as an historian, rather than as a first-hand eyewitness. His extensive writings also include the book of Acts (Acts 1:1–3). These are deliberately organized, carefully researched accounts of those events. The gospel of Luke focuses on the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. Luke's Gentile perspective presents Christ as a Savior for all people, offering both forgiveness and direction to those who follow Him.
Accessed 5/21/2024 12:09:54 PM
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