Luke 11:53 ¶ As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things,
Luke 11:54 lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.
Luke 12:1 ¶ 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.
Luke 12:2 Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
Luke 12:3 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.
Leaven is a bad thing. It’s what you have to clean out of your house before you can celebrate Passover. It’s what goes into dough to puff it up to make it look bigger and fuller than what it really is. Leaven is the difference between a loaf and a tortilla, and the difference between a showman religious person and a saint.
It’s interesting that Jesus zeroes in on the hypocrisy of the Pharisees as the thing to beware of. It’s not some rogue teaching. It’s not whether a man can divorce his wife for burning his cheese or which of the commandments is the most important. (These were both controversies in Jesus’ day.)
The warning Jesus gives involves their secret actions. Hypocrisy isn’t so much teaching evil or doing evil, but the misalignment of what you are saying and what you are doing. What you teach and say is out there in public. Even if you don’t want it to be, some lady is watching how you corral your kids into the car at the YMCA and doing a commentary in her head.
Dads: Your daughters are watching to see where you look when you go out to Target. Your kids know more about what you like and what you give your attention to than you might think.
The point of Jesus saying this isn’t for us to do a better job of keeping secrets. It isn’t that we need more trusted people in our group of friends. We need to guard ourselves against the little tiny bit of leaven that quickly grows into something big. Ask any of these Pandemic Sourdough Chefs — one little dollop of yeast spreads to the whole loaf.
Beware the hypocrisy of the Pharisees that talk one talk but walk another walk. Make it awesome that whatever you whisper in private rooms will be shouted from the rooftops. That turns it into honor. That’s the Gospel.
That’s wholistic salvation.
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