Prayer Focus: Serbia

Bible Reading: Luke 12; Luke 13:1-30

Scripture

Meanwhile, the crowds grew until thousands were milling about and stepping on each other. Jesus turned first to his disciples and warned them, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees—their hypocrisy.  The time is coming when everything that is covered up will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!  Luke 12:1-3 NLT

Observation

“All will be revealed,” is the hypocrites nightmare.

It seems that when Jesus told the people to beware of something it’s because they weren’t able to recognize the danger automatically.  Just prior to this Jesus was invited to lunch by a Pharisee and the first thing the Pharisee noticed was that Jesus didn’t go through the ceremonial washing.  An argument ensued with the Pharisees caught in their hypocrisy and trying to defend it.  Now the crowds are gathering by the thousands and before things get to crazy Jesus wants to make sure one thing; that the disciples know to beware of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees.

Application

I’ve read that the Pharisees, unlike the Sadducees had the support of the people.  Maybe there was more of a kinship between the Pharisees and the common person because the Sadducees were the upper class and the Pharisees were middle class and the common person was poor.

The Pharisees, by Jesus’ day, were mostly hypocrites, though.  They were legalistic, harsh, know-it-all’s, telling the people to act a certain way, but not doing so themselves accept when they could be seen.  Given their arguments with Jesus it would seem they were accustomed to being obeyed.  So, Jesus warns his disciples, beware.

And I have to wonder, is it because we secretly love legalism?  It’s far easier to have a to-do list to check off rather than worship God in spirit and truth.  It would be so much easier if I could just say that because I’ve done X, or Y, or Z, than Jesus has to accept me.  But when we ask Jesus a question like, “How much of my life do I have to give to you?”  Jesus answers with a question like, “How much of your life did God give to you?”

Beware of hypocrisy and check lists and falling into legalism.  I’d like to give advice on how best to do that, but I’m afraid that could turn into a legalistic check list, too!  I think the best advice comes from Jesus in Luke 13:22-34 (hint: it’s about not worrying).

Prayer

Dear Lord, I thank you for your Word.  I pray that you open my eyes to see my own hypocrisy and to be willing to be humble enough to correct it.  Sometimes I wish the Christian life were easier and just a matter of checking things of on a list, but really, where’s the adventure in that?  Life in your family is strange, wonderful, messy, encouraging, crazy, comforting, confusing, but it is never dull because You are always right here with me.  Keep my eyes focused on You so that I seek You and Your will first.  Amen!

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