Read Luke 12:1-12.
In Luke 11, Jesus is in the middle of an intense, heated debate with religious hypocrites who are trying to provoke and entrap Him, but He turns to address His disciples: "Pay attention. Be on your guard against the corrupting influence of religious hypocrites."
Jesus outlines what will keep us from the eternal disaster of walking in the way of hypocrites: Honor the Father. Honor the Son. Honor the Holy Spirit.
Then Jesus outlines what will keep us from the eternal disaster of walking in the way of hypocrites: Honor the Father. Honor the Son. Honor the Holy Spirit. We must focus on the triune God. When we do, the Lord will honor us.
First, Jesus commands us to honor the Father: "Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell" (Luke 12:5). The Father is the one who will judge all. No secret will be hidden from Him, and no hypocrite will be able to stand before Him on the last day, for just as yeast is hidden inside a batch of dough and is only revealed when the bread rises, so too will the hidden lives of hypocrites be revealed (see Luke 12:1-2). This, of course, should fill those who love Him with joy—and fill those who live as hypocrites with dread.
Second, Jesus exhorts us to honor the Son: "I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God" (v. 8). Those who fail to confess Jesus as Lord and Savior will hear from the King of kings the most devastating words imaginable: "I never knew you" (Matthew 7:23).
There will be those who say, "But we wore clerical garb! We agreed with some things in the Bible!" And Jesus will reply, "I never knew you." Friends, be very careful of the leaven of hypocrisy.
Finally, Jesus calls us to honor the Spirit, for "anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven" (Luke 12:10). To blaspheme the Holy Spirit is to reject the testimony of the Spirit concerning Jesus. He testifies of Jesus and reveals that salvation is found in no one else. Hypocrites always compromise this Truth, and in doing so, dishonor God's Holy Spirit. They stand condemned by their own words.
Those of us who stand on the uncompromised Truth will have trouble in this world. But Jesus encouraged: "Take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to focus on You so that I do not stray from Your Truth nor seek to exalt myself and my own ways. I want to follow Your way—the only path to eternal life—by trusting in Christ's blood poured out for the forgiveness of my sins. Thank You, Lord. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy" (Luke 12:1).
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