“Do not fear little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom (Lk 12:32).” In Luke 12, Jesus is helping his disciples understand the danger of trying to make this life their security. Many people are storing up and investing in this life without discerning the time. According to Jesus, the days are short and the end of all things is at hand.
In this context, Jesus told a parable about a rich man who yielded plentifully in this life. He lived thinking that life would go on as it always. So this earthly man planned to invest more and more in the securities of this life, with the assumption that his many goods stored up for many years would hedge him in from all the dangers that may come his way. With bank accounts full, and as much food as possible to draw from, he would have nothing to worry about, he could “eat, drink, and be merry” through it all.
There was just one big problem, however: Tonight, he was appointed to die! Then what would become of these earthly securities that he labored for in this life?
This must have frightened the disciples, for Jesus immediately cautions against anxiety. Jesus told them that there was no need to be anxious because our heavenly father is committed to care for us, in everything (Lk. 12:22-31).
After calming them over the anxieties that are common in this turbulent world, Jesus says something overwhelming, “Do not fear little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” In my years of study, I am not sure I have found a more beautiful promise in all of Scripture. It’s worth our meditation.
There are a few things we should notice in this promise. First, Jesus speaks to us as the covenant people of the Lord. When the eternal Son of God says this to us, it is spoken in absolute truth and with the power to accomplish what is said. We are his people, and he is our God. We belong to the Lord as his special people set apart from the world. We are the “flock” of his choosing, purchased by the precious blood of Christ. The Lord is absolutely committed to care for us through this life.
Second, we would notice that Jesus is telling us that the heavenly father loves us. We shouldn’t pass over that too quickly. Let this truth sink in, the heavenly father loves you! This is what the sacrificial work of Christ has opened for us to enjoy. “The father himself loves you” says Jesus, “because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God (John 16:27).” This is a love that can never be taken from us.
Third, the best news ever is announced here, the Father has made a decree in the covenant of redemption, that as the Son has come here to save us from our sins, he desires to give (δοῦναι) us the kingdom. Notice that this kingdom is a free gift of his grace because of the Father’s good pleasure (εὐδόκησεν). This is the same word Paul uses in Ephes. 1:5 when he says we were predestined for glory because of the “good pleasure” of his will.
We cannot earn this kingdom. Our efforts and works cannot secure this kingdom. Jesus is saying to us that this kingdom is ours as a free gift of grace because the father loves us through the work of his Son. The kingdom is the fullness of everything that has been promised to us in the forgiveness of sins and everlasting life: the new heavens and earth, the place Jesus prepared for us, and the beautific vision of gazing our eyes on Jesus forever.
Through all the difficulties and fears of this life, especially as the future is uncertain in our current distress, turn your hearts to Christ’s promise, and do not be discouraged. Jesus has a kingdom assigned for us. “I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, (Lk. 22:29)” Receive it by faith, and rejoice, for nothing can take what is yours in Christ Jesus, and do not be anxious, anymore.