Luke 12:1-3 – Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
An incredible group had gathered together to hear Jesus preach. The Pharisees and experts in the law sought to accuse Him and catch Him in some fault, but the people, who were not biased by their prejudices and jealousies, still admired and honored Him. While He was still contending with those that “fiercely opposed Him,” thousands gathered for an after dinner sermon. Jesus did not disappoint them. Although He had soundly reproved them in His earlier sermon for being a wicked generation seeking after a sign, they still came back in even greater numbers. It seems that they handled reproof better than the Pharisees received theirs. The more the Pharisees worked to resist Christ, the more the people flocked to Him. Several thousand pressed in so eagerly to hear that some were getting trampled. They were so eager for this ministry to their souls that they risked injury and the jostling of the crowd in order to hear. What kind of people would do this? Would it not be those who are earnest for their souls and hungry for truth? Would it not be those who sensed the Spirit of their Creator dwelling in this Preacher?
Christ’s first message was to His disciples as He cautioned them against the yeast of the Pharisees. These listeners were His inner circle of dedicated students and, as such, He instructs them as His dearly loved children. They professed to believe in Him more than the others and so He warns them of the sin that they were in most danger of – HYPOCRISY! They were in training to preach to others, and if they should trash their witness by being hypocrites, that would be as bad, or worse than the example set by the Pharisees. Jesus knew full well the harm done by hypocrisy and He presents them this cautionary word in the hearing of thousands of listeners rather than privately. In so doing, He made them more accountable and let the world know that hypocrisy would not be acceptable among those who proclaimed His gospel. Truth, integrity and authenticity are paramount as a follower of Christ.
Notice that Jesus describes this sin as YEAST. It is the YEAST of the Pharisees. It spreads into the whole person and all that he does. It swells the person with self-righteous pride, it sours and embitters them with resentment and jealousies, and it makes their service unacceptable to God. It is the sin that most of the Pharisees are plagued with. Be on your guard not to imitate them or fall into this trap. “Don’t drag this spirit of the Pharisees into Christianity,” might well be Jesus’ instruction to His inner circle. (Of course, the Pharisees were well within earshot as He spoke these words)! Jesus leaves them this reason, “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” Sooner or later the truth will come out! If you speak and act in the “darkness” what is inconsistent with your public professions, it will be trumpeted from the rooftops. As in Ecclesiastes 10:20, a bird of the air will carry your word, and your falsehood will be made plain to everyone. The iniquity that is concealed with a show of piety will be uncovered! There is coming a day when all secrets will be brought to light! One day all hypocrites will be stripped of their religious fig leaves! So, a major lesson for all Christ followers, GUARD AGAINST HYPOCRISY!
Thursday: Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.
Friday: Pray for the families of the week: John & Christine Fargo (Giovanni, Isabelle, Claire), Dave & Ilene Fetzner, Betty George.
Saturday: Recognize the danger of hypocrisy – in your life and in others!
Sunday: Attend the hearing of the Word of Christ – even risk the danger of being trampled by the thousands who will be busting down the doors of your church to hear!
Monday: Pray that you may be humble to receive reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness!
Tuesday: Pray that you may be authentic, full of grace and rich in integrity as you follow Christ!
Wednesday: Pray that you will guard against hypocrisy in your life and in the community of believers!
Prayer Challenge – Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. – 1 Peter 2:1-3