It's the twelfth day of the Luke challenge and we are already halfway into this journey and it has been a journey of transformation occasioned by new lights been shed on the word of God! I have a deep affinity for God's word but in the last 12 days or so that affinity has been taking to new heights as I attempt to read the Luke gospel all over again. David said, "Oh I how to love thy word, it is my meditation all day" (Psalm 119:97). This has been my experience the past 12 days, more than ever my eyes and my thoughts have been all set on the word!
The details that the Luke gospel covers make it so hard to just look through it, and that's why this cannot be considered a detailed study of the book. It's the reason why in studying each chapter we only attempt to focus on two to three things that the chapter address. And here in Luke 12, we will do the same again, however, we will focus on just one. There are a lot of issues the master addressed here and starting from verse 1 he began on the issue of HYPOCRISY and this is what we will focus on today!
Straight away from the first verse in Luke 12, Jesus in no unmistakable terms fires this warning at his disciples:
"In the meantime, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples, first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the household"
Luke 12:1-3 KJV
It appears Jesus was not yet done with the Pharisees and Sadducees, for at the close of the last chapter in Luke 11 Jesus declared all kinds of woes upon them and then proceeded here to warn the disciples about taking the leaven of the Pharisees which is HYPOCRISY! In the new testament the word hypocrites or hypocrisy appeared twenty times and most of the time it was mentioned it was the master that used the word to speak of the Pharisees and Sadducees. And someone has said that there is a saduccee or pharisee in every one of us! And if there is anything that the church of today or the church generally has been accused of more than any other is that of HYPOCRISY. Many have argued and asked, 'How can I become a Christian when there are so many hypocritical Christian?'. That leads us into trying to define what hypocrisy is.
WHAT IS HYPOCRISY?
This demeaning question of "how can I become a Christian when there are so many hypocritical Christians" seems to stem from one of the definitions of Christ on hypocrisy in Matthew 7:5,
"Thou hypocrite first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye"
Hypocrisy from this definition is criticizing others of things we ourselves are guilty of on a greater scale! And who else does the world accuse of this if not we Christians! We are always told to practice what we preach! If you look in Matthew 23 where Jesus talked extensively about hypocrisy one of the central themes here was that of not practicing what you preach!
"Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: ‘The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for people to see..."(Matthew 23:1-2NIV)
The Pharisees were accused of not practicing what they preach! The question arising from this text is how many of us do really practice what we preach? If it's just by this definition alone then all of us are hypocrites or have been hypocritical at one time or the other! However, the definition of hypocrisy goes beyond here as we will see later. But it's good to point out that it's not Christ-followers that validates Christ and our faith, Christ all by himself validates Himself and must be the only reason why we want to follow him.
A wise man wrote this: "Christianity does not stand or fall on the way Christians have acted throughout history or are acting today. Christianity stands or falls on the person of Jesus, and Jesus was not a hypocrite. He lived consistently with what He taught, and at the end of His life, He challenged those who had lived with Him night and day, for over three years, to point out any hypocrisy in Him. His disciples were silent because there was none. Since Christianity depends on Jesus, it is incorrect to try to invalidate the Christian faith by pointing to horrible things done in the name of Christianity"
This word apply not only to unbelievers but to even believers who day and night are trying to invalidate our faith because of what one spiritual leader does or didn't do somewhere! Our faith must follow and must be based only on the person of Jesus, he is the only one free of hypocrisy!
Read full blog post here UNDERSTANDING CHRIST: A Look Through The Book Of Luke - Luke 12
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Understanding Christ: A Look Through The Book Of Luke - Luke 12
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