Luke wrote an orderly account and when we left off last Sunday the Pharisees and scribes
Luke 11:53-54 (ESV)
….began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things, 54 lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.
Now Jesus is back in a large crowd with the agenda of the Jews highly motivated and others wanting a miracle for various reasons. Popularity is not Jesus goal and He has no fear of man, He is on a mission to save the world through a cross.
Do you fear what man can do to you, especially those with means and motive?
Do you desire to be popular? What is the cost?
Luke 12:1-7 (ESV)
In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops. 4 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Luke 12:1 (ESV)
In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
Hypocrite – Greek – an actor, one who plays a part.
Why do we try to portray something we are not?
- To impress others
- Concerned about what others might think
- Don’t like who we are
- Concerned we will not be loved
- Living up social standard or expectation
- Bad theology or doctrine
Why are we hiding instead of healing?
So should we care what others think about us?
Have you ever tried to appear more spiritual than you are? Why?
- To fit in and be liked?
- Jesus never had this objective
- Jesus knew who He was and where He was going and had an audience of One.
- Don’t we know when we are pretending and isn’t it exhausting to try and be someone you’re not?
So why is Jesus specifically warning His disciple here?
- They might be tempted to please the crowds.
- Or please the leaders to avoid persecution.
We all want to be liked and affirmed, but we must be careful that this doesn’t lead to compromise and living a lie – hypocrisy.
So how do we avoid living a lie?
1 Corinthians 5:6-7 (ESV)
Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
Galatians 5:9 (ESV)
A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
Just like yeast a little hypocrisy grows and consumes the entire person. So hypocrisy like yeast puffs up the ego. This is a path to compromise and spiritual decay.
O what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive.
Sir Walter Scott
Are you pretending to be someone you are not?
Listen to this sobering warning:
Luke 12:2-3 (ESV)
Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.
Hypocrisy is fruitless and foolish, the Lord knows and it will all be eventually revealed. Live in the light! Avoid any temptation to cover up or hide and always speak to please the Lord not man.
So why is Jesus saying this to His disciples?
Was Jesus afraid to offend? No, but that was not His motive. His motive was to unashamedly reveal the Father’s heart.
Mark 8:34-38 (ESV)
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
So what is the root of hypocrisy?
Luke 12:4-5 (ESV)
“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!
When we are afraid of what man might say and do to you compromise is calling. We must consider character as a higher value then reputation.
Proverbs 29:25 (ESV)
The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.
Galatians 1:10 (ESV)
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Hebrews 13:6 (ESV)
So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
what is our antidote to hypocrisy?
Fear God only, this will help us overcome all other fears.
- David feared the Lord more than Goliath
- Joshua feared God more than the Canaanites
- Jesus fear the Father more than the storm
We are told by Jesus here that the Lord alone determine the destiny of our soul.
Luke 12:6-7 (ESV)
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
God knows the truth about every detail of your life and values you enough to send His Son to die in your place. Do you know that Jesus knew every fault and failure in your entire life and still raced to the Cross to rescue you!
Don’t hide! Run to Him, He loves you and knows you better than you think. He knows you can’t make it with Him! You are not forgotten and the intimate details of your life are no mystery to our heavenly Father. Unlike the Pharisees and scribes confess and repent of your sins and know and believe that the Cross was enough and His promises are faithful.
Prayer & Benediction