Luke 12:1-3 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. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 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.”
What is hypocrisy?
It is “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense” (Google). It can mean insincere worship of God which manifests itself in an inconsistency between external religious activity and religious profession. It can include to have a godless heart that rebels against God’s laws and generates wrongful acts. It means “stage-playing or acting” with the purpose to impress men (biblestudytools.com). It is willful lying, pretending to be what you are not.
It doesn’t mean that you claim to be a Christian but you are not perfect. A claim to faith in Jesus Christ is not a claim to living an absolutely perfect life without any sin. But it is a claim to have forsaken your life of sin, your practice of sin, to have died with Christ to sin and that you are living to God and to his righteousness. It is a claim to have put your life of addictive sin behind you to now follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his ways, in practice. And hypocrisy involves willful faking of what you know you are not living.
Jesus said about the hypocrites (the scribes and the Pharisees) that they preach what they do not practice. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. They love the place of honor and the best seats in places where they will be noticed. They love being called “teacher.” They love being recognized and acknowledged by others. And they shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces and they do not enter in themselves because what they are teaching is not the truth. They are telling people lies.
Jesus continued by saying that these hypocrites, these religious teachers of the Scriptures cleaned up the outside only of their lives so that they looked good to others but inside they were full of greed and self-indulgence. So they were to first clean the inside that the outside also may be clean. For they were like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So, outwardly they appeared righteous to others, but within they were full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. And we have many religious like them today.
So, we as followers of Jesus Christ are to beware the leaven of the Pharisees, i.e. the religious hypocrites and their spreading influences over the people. We are not to accept what they say just because they said it. Just because someone is in the position of pastor in a church (or what is falsely called “church”) it doesn’t mean his words are to be trusted or that he is telling the truth or that he is not mixing truth and lies together in order to willfully deceive his people. We need to test everyone and everything.
So, a hypocrite doesn’t have to be a legalist like the Pharisees were. A hypocrite is anyone who willfully pretends (or performs) one thing for an audience while he lives another. So hypocrites can be thieves and robbers who are out to destroy the church. They can be wolves in sheep’s clothing out to deceive people into believing lies cleverly disguised as truth. And a hypocrite can be anyone of a good reputation who is well known and well accepted in the Christian community but who is living a lie.
So, we need to watch out that we don’t get caught up in their lies. Usually these people are charming and influential and know how to say things in such a way as to where they capture people’s attention and even affections. They can be very winsome and be people who other people are just naturally drawn to because of their charismatic personalities. But they may have a snake’s bite, so test everything they say and make sure that what they are saying is the truth, for many of them cleverly blend lies and truth together in such a way to where they trick you into believing their lies.
But we must also beware that we don’t follow their influences to the point to where we become hypocrites, too. We should say what we mean and mean what we say and we must guard against giving false impressions of ourselves in order to make ourselves look good to others for their approval. We should not speak beyond we are living or else we should be honest that we are not living according to the standard of what the Scriptures are teaching us that we must live by.
There are many people professing Christianity today who are living secretive lives of sin, hiding what they do in secret, and covering it up with lies for the purpose to deceive. Usually, but not always, this involves some type of sexual sin, usually adultery of some kind against one’s spouse and so the sin is done in secret and lies are told to cover up the sin. Or there may be secret conversations going on behind the backs of spouses or bosses. If not soon, one day all these things done in secret will be out in the open.
Now, when I think about whatever we have said in private will now be proclaimed on the housetops I think of our present world in the area of the internet and smart TVs and smart phones and Alexis, etc. Did you know that what we say in the presence of our smart phones alone can be heard by someone, which may be just a robot? Have you ever had a conversation with someone only to do a search on Google and have it immediately bring up what you wanted to search for, or have it in an immediate advertisement?
Someone is listening all the time if we are at all connected to the internet and to cell phones or televisions, etc. So there is no such thing as privacy anymore. There is no such thing as a private conversation unless you can get totally away from technology. And no matter who we are our words are not always perfect, but we need to be those who are guarding the words on our tongues, because we should, because it is the right thing to do, because it is the godly thing to do, but also with a consciousness that everything we say is now being listened to and can be shouted from the rooftops.
Seek the Lord
An Original Work / July 20, 2012
Based off Isaiah 55
“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”
Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.
“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”