Luke 12

Luke 12 Devotional
by Pastor Lawrence

At the beginning of this chapter in the midst of a great crowd of people, Jesus gives his disciples this warning as of first importance: “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” Using a common household analogy of a simple substance like yeast that causes dough to rise and expand, Jesus warns that hypocrisy has the same ability to alter and transform a person from the inside out. Even though it is undetected at first and slow growing, a little bit of hypocrisy in one corner of the heart has the tendency to invade the other chambers of the heart permeating every aspect of a man and eventually swelling him with pride and puffing him up with vanity like a yeast roll.

The danger of hypocrisy is that no one suspects that it is happening until its effects are fully seen, neither the hypocrite nor his closest companions. It is even more dangerous for those in leadership, especially those who can hold the attention of a great crowd of people, for they begin to think that they have some innate giftedness and unique power of godliness within them that will continue to flow no matter what “little sin” they commit. But over time, like Sampson, they don’t recognize that the power of God has left them because of their many impurities.

So Jesus tells his people to watch out for such an insidious outlook in ourselves assuring us that whatever we have sought to cover up will eventually be discovered, whatever we’ve tried to hide will be exposed, whatever is lurking in the dark will be put under the spotlight and whatever is whispered will be brought under a megaphone. Eventually our hypocrisy will be seen not only by us but by all those around us. It wasn’t hard for the disciples to discern the hypocrisy of the Pharisees even if many of them didn’t already recognize it in themselves. So Jesus warns them not to play the fool themselves.

Our enemy the devil has thousands of different schemes he seeks to use on each of us, but a similar tactic he uses with all men and women is to make them think that sin is not a big deal and will not have any grievous consequences for the future. But Jesus assures us that is a lie from the very pit of hell and that hypocrisy itself is the lie that somehow we can have one foot in heaven and one foot in the world, when in reality, a hypocrite has both feet on the edge of the abyss. Therefore, beware of this evil influence, and if you see signs of it already invading your soul, repent of it immediately bringing your sins into the light.