Leaven of the Pharisees

Luke 12: 1-7
Eph 1: 11-14 / Ps 33: 1-2. 4-5. 12-13

“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed.”
(Lk.12:2.)

All things in darkness come to light;
No lie can ever be concealed.
What secrets can hide from God’s sight?
In time the truth will be revealed.

Meanwhile, so many people were crowding together that they were trampling one another underfoot. Jesus began to speak, first to His disciples, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops. I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, but after that can do no more. I will show you whom to fear: fear Him Who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Luke 12: 1-7)

Reflection

The hypocrisy of the Pharisees was what made them contemptible to God, because they thought they could fool God with their duplicity. Their “leaven” was what made them bloat with pride. To their fellow Jews they might have appeared great in piety and spirituality, but Jesus exposed them for what they really were — just full of air.

There is nothing unknown to God, whether it’s the number of our hairs or the countless stars. There is no secret hidden from the eyes of God. And He cares for all of His creation – even the worthless sparrows. How much more for us, whom He made in His image and likeness? Only one thing He requires of us to be worthy of His love – to be sincere in our faith. And that means being truthful in all our ways.

During the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in our brotherhood’s Christian Life Program. many of our participants break down in tears. This is the cathartic effect of finally coming face to face with our sins, and being led out of darkness into the light of God’s loving forgiveness. Shedding tears is a natural outpouring of repentance, and the result of being released from the bondage of abnormal behavior, and restored into our rightful place in the arms of our Savior. They are tears of joy indeed! God’s light has exposed the darkness of sin, and has overcome hatred with compassion, self-righteousness with humility, and false pride with integrity and truth. God has given us the grace to be humble and contrite of heart, and enabled us to overcome the leaven of insincerity and hypocrisy in our lives.

Give thanks to the Lord on the harp; with the ten-stringed lyre chant His praises. For upright is the word of the Lord, and all His works are trustworthy. He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the Lord the earth is full. Happy the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen for His own inheritance. From heaven the Lord looks down; He sees all mankind. (Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5,12-13)

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