Luke 12:32
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(32) Fear not, little flock.—The words continue to be spoken to the inner circle of the disciples. They are “the little flock” (the Greek has the article) to whom the Father was pleased to give the kingdom which is “righteousness and peace and joy.” There is an implied recognition of the fact, that the “flock” had passed beyond the stage of seeking for the kingdom. In its essence it was theirs already.

It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.—Literally, Your Father was well-pleased to give. As resting upon an object, the Greek verb appears in Luke 3:22; Matthew 3:17; Matthew 12:18; Matthew 17:5; Mark 1:11. As followed by a verb of action, it is used, in the New Testament, only by St. Luke and St. Paul, and so forms another link in the chain of coincidences connecting them. (Comp. Romans 15:26; Galatians 1:15; Colossians 1:19, and elsewhere.)

Luke 12:32-34. Fear not, little flock — You, my dear property and charge, however feeble you may seem; fear not, I say, that you shall be left destitute of those common blessings of providence, for it is your Father’s good pleasure, &c. — Ευδοκησεν, he takes delight, or joyfully acquiesces, in giving you the kingdom, even the kingdom of eternal glory; and can you possibly imagine, that while he intends to bestow that upon you, and even takes pleasure in the thought of making you so rich, great, and happy there, he will refuse you those earthly supplies, such as food and raiment, which he liberally imparts even to strangers and enemies? And since ye have such an inheritance, regard not your earthly possessions. Sell that ye have and give alms — That is, be ready, when God calls you, and the exigencies of Christ’s members require it, so to do; and be so far from the sordidness of the rich man, who would not give of his superfluities to the needy, as in these cases to relieve them out of the principal, or main stock; as knowing this heavenly kingdom is to be obtained, not by hoarding up treasures here on earth, but in consequence of an interest in Christ, and union with him through faith, by distributing them to his poor and destitute members. This was a precept peculiarly calculated for those times, in which the profession of the gospel exposed men to the loss of all their goods. And it is probable it was as a fruitful seed in the minds of some who heard it; and the liberal sale of estates, a few months after, by which so many poor Christians were supported, might be, in a great measure, the harvest which sprang up from it, under the cultivation of the blessed Spirit. Nothing is more probable, than that some of the many myriads now attending our Lord, (Luke 12:1,) might be in the number of the thousands then converted. See on Acts 2:41-47. Provide yourselves bags which wax not old — Nor wear out: an allusion this to the danger of losing money through a hole, worn in an old purse. Such is frequently the gain of this world, and so are its treasures hoarded up, and put into a bag with holes, Haggai 1:6. The rich men in Judea, so soon ravaged and destroyed by the Romans, particularly found it so. A treasure in the heavens — That region of security and immortality; that fadeth not — But remains for ever, and continually increases; where no thief approacheth — To plunder the riches of its inhabitants; neither moth corrupteth — Corrodes and spoils the robes of glory in which they appear. By bestowing your wealth in charity, you will send it before you into heaven, where it will lie secure from all accidents, and be a source of eternal joys to you. And where your treasure is, &c. — If your treasure be thus laid up in heaven, your heart will be there also; your thoughts and affections will naturally ascend thither, and consequently your dispositions and actions, your desires and hopes, will be all heavenly.12:22-40 Christ largely insisted upon this caution not to give way to disquieting, perplexing cares, Mt 6:25-34. The arguments here used are for our encouragement to cast our care upon God, which is the right way to get ease. As in our stature, so in our state, it is our wisdom to take it as it is. An eager, anxious pursuit of the things of this world, even necessary things, ill becomes the disciples of Christ. Fears must not prevail; when we frighten ourselves with thoughts of evil to come, and put ourselves upon needless cares how to avoid it. If we value the beauty of holiness, we shall not crave the luxuries of life. Let us then examine whether we belong to this little flock. Christ is our Master, and we are his servants; not only working servants, but waiting servants. We must be as men that wait for their lord, that sit up while he stays out late, to be ready to receive him. In this Christ alluded to his own ascension to heaven, his coming to call his people to him by death, and his return to judge the world. We are uncertain as to the time of his coming to us, we should therefore be always ready. If men thus take care of their houses, let us be thus wise for our souls. Be ye therefore ready also; as ready as the good man of the house would be, if he knew at what hour the thief would come.Little flock - Our Saviour often represents himself as a shepherd, and his followers as a flock or as sheep. The figure was beautiful. In Judea it was a common employment to attend flocks. The shepherd was with them, defended them, provided for them, led them to green pastures and beside still waters. In all these things Jesus was and is eminently the Good Shepherd. His flock was small. Few "really" followed him, compared with the multitude who professed to love him. But, though small in number, they were not to fear. God was their Friend. He would provide for them. It was his purpose to give them the kingdom, and they had nothing to fear. See Matthew 6:19-21. 32. little flock, &c.—How sublime and touching a contrast between this tender and pitying appellation, "Little flock" (in the original a double diminutive, which in German can be expressed, but not in English)—and the "good pleasure" of the Father to give them the Kingdom; the one recalling the insignificance and helplessness of that then literal handful of disciples, the other holding up to their view the eternal love that encircled them, the everlasting arms that were underneath them, and the high inheritance awaiting them!—"the kingdom"; grand word; then why not "bread" (Lu 12:31 [Bengel]). Well might He say, "Fear not!" Our Saviour had mentioned a kingdom, Luke 12:31. How much too big a thought was this for fishermen, and others of his poor hearers, to entertain! He therefore here assures them of the thing, that they should have a kingdom, and showeth them that their title to it was his and their Father’s will; though they were a little flock, and so not likely to conquer a kingdom upon earth for themselves, yet they should have a kingdom from the free donation of him, who had kingdoms to give, and would give it to them, because he was their Father. By this kingdom can be understood nothing else but that state of honour, glory, and dignity which believers shall have in the world that is to come; which they shall have not from merit, but gift; not from the first good motions and inclinations of their own will, but from the free motions of the Divine will; and therefore they had no reason to fear that God would not provide food convenient for them. He that had provided a kingdom for them, which he would one day give unto them, would certainly provide bread for them, and give it to them. Fear not little flock,.... these words are particularly directed to the immediate apostles and disciples of Christ; but are true of all the saints in all ages of time, who are compared to a "flock of sheep", being separated from the rest of the world in election, redemption, and the effectual calling, and being folded together in a Gospel church state; and also for their patience, meekness, humility, and harmlessness: these are a "little" flock; few in number, when compared with the wicked of the world; and mean and despicable in the account of men; and little in their own eyes: these are subject to many "fears"; some relate to their outward state, and condition, as that they shall want food and raiment, and not have the necessaries of life; which seems to be in the first place here intended, as appears from the context: and some regard their spiritual and eternal estate, as lest they should have no interest in the love of God, and in the covenant, in the blessings and promises of his grace; lest they should not belong to Christ; or the good work of grace should not be begun in them; or that they should not persevere to the end, and should at last miscarry of eternal life and happiness: and these fears arise from a body of sin, from the temptations of Satan, the hidings of God's face, and the prevalence of unbelief; for they have no true reason for them: God is on their side, and will not leave, nor forsake them, nor shall they want any good thing Christ is their shepherd, and he has bought them, with his own blood, and will lose none of them; and therefore they need not fear being taken care of both in soul and body, for time and eternity: and especially when what follows is considered,

for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom; not only the Gospel, and the knowledge of the mysteries of it; nor the Gospel church state, and a right to all its ordinances; nor only the kingdom of grace, which cannot be moved; but the kingdom of glory: and which is a gift unto them, not obtained by any deserts or works of theirs; nor is their right unto, and enjoyment of it depending upon any such thing: and it their Father's gift, who is so by adopting grace, and through Christ Jesus their Lord; and which he gives according to his sovereign will and pleasure, and with a good will, delighting in them, and rejoicing over them to do them good, both here and hereafter: so that they may depend upon every good thing needful for them both in this world, and in the world to come; nor should they indulge anxious cares, or slavish fears.

{9} Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

(9) It is a foolish thing not to look for small things at the hands of him who freely gives us the greatest things.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 12:32. Peculiar to Luke. An encouragement to fearlessness in the endeavour after the Messiah’s kingdom, by means of the promise of the divinely-assured final result.

μὴ φοβοῦ] in consideration of their external powerlessness and weakness (τὸ μικρ. ποίμνιον). But Christians generally, as such, are not the little[157] flock (which is not to be changed into a poor oppressed band, as de Wette, following Grotius, does), but the little community of the disciples (Luke 12:22), as whose head He was their shepherd (comp. John 10:12; Matthew 26:31).

εὐδόκησεν] it has pleased your Father. See on Romans 15:26; Colossians 1:19.

δοῦναι ὑμῖν τ. β.] see Luke 20:29 f.

[157] But ποίμνιον is not a diminutive, as Bengel supposed, but is a contraction for ποιμένιον.Luke 12:32-34. The little flock, in Lk. only.—ποίμνιον (contracted from ποιμένιον), a flock (of sheep), a familiar designation of the body of believers in the apostolic age (Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 5:3); μικρὸν adds pathos. That Jesus applied this name to His disciples is very credible, though it may be that in the sense of the source from which Lk. drew, the little flock is the Jewish-Christian Church of Palestine subject to persecution from their unbelieving countrymen (J. Weiss in Meyer). The counsel “fear not” is Mt.’s “take no thought for to-morrow,” but the “to-morrow” refers not to temporal but to spiritual things; hence the declaration following. Paraphrased = Fear not future want of food and raiment, still less loss of the kingdom, the object of your desire. Your Father will certainly give it.32. little flock] The address was primarily to disciples, Luke 12:1. For the metaphor, see Psalm 23:1; Isaiah 40:11; Matthew 26:31; John 10:12-16.

the kingdom] How much more shall He give you bread.Luke 12:32. Μὴ φοβοῦ, fear not) This passage is full of benignity.—μικρόν) That which is little might seem to have cause for fearing: but it is for that reason with so much the more benignity guarded in safety. Both the several little sheep individually are small (as a people is said to be ‘feeble,’ which consists of the feeble, Proverbs 30:25-26, the ants and conies): and the whole flock is by no means numerous, if it be compared with the world at large, and is easily fed, even on this very account, because it is not numerous, and is [therefore also the more] precious. [Such persons as belong to this “little flock,” do not hunt after worldly splendour.—V. g.]—ποίμνιον) A diminutive most sweet and full of love.—εὐδόκησεν) It hath been the good pleasure of your Father Himself.—τὴν βασιλείαν, the kingdom) A grand expression, implying much: see Luke 12:31 : why then should not bread be included in His promise? [Truly the son of a king has no reason to be anxious as to meat, drink, and clothing.—V. g.]Verse 32. - Fear not, little flock. Another term of tender endearment addressed to his own who were grouped near him. In the earlier part of this discourse (vet. 4) he had called them "my friends." He had told them of the troublous life which awaited them, but at the same time wished to show them how dear they were to him. It was as though he said, "Endure the thought of these necessary trials for my sake; are you not my chosen friends, for whom so glorious a future, if ye endure to the end, is reserved?"
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