“Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be[a] on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” Luke 12.1-3
Jesus was causing quite a raucous. The crowds he was drawing were in the thousands. It reminds me of a New Years Year party in Times Square New York. People are packed in like sardines. Shoulder to shoulder, “trampling on one another,” as the text tells us.
But it’s not just crowded streets which are causing problems, Jesus is stirring up the pot spiritually, theologically and politically. Jesus was hitting at the very center of the Judaism by opposing and calling out the Pharisees. In this segment, he warns his disciples about the “yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” That’s brave of him! They were THE Jewish authorities. They ran the synagogues, the Temple worship, the Jewish way of life. They were in power. But here was Jesus calling them what they were — hypocrites.
Jesus continues by talking about how “nothing is concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.” This pertains to the Pharisees and their sin but it relates to all sin and evil behavior as well. “What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” Nothing will be hidden from God! No evil act or wickedness. Everything will be brought to the light either in this life or the one to come.
How then shall we live? Early Methodists were committed to spreading Scriptural holiness. John Wesley described the Methodist mission in this way, “What may we reasonably believe to be God’s design in raising up the Preachers called Methodists? To reform the nation and, in particular, the Church; to spread scriptural holiness over the land.” [https://place.asburyseminary.edu/asburyjournal/vol63/iss1/7/]. Scriptural holiness was a way of living by loving God and loving neighbor. It was believing and acting upon God’s holiness, both inward and outward [https://place.asburyseminary.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1558&context=asburyjournal]. It involved being justified by faith, sanctified by the Holy Spirit and walking in Christian perfection.
Jesus’ message to the Pharisees is, of course, a message to all people. It should cause a moment of self-reflection, inner contemplation, and complete surrender to the Savior. As Paul writes in Romans 3.10, “As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one.”
“O Lord God, the battle for holiness which began so many years ago continues today. You want us to be holy, pure, like you. Give us the strength to deny self, take up our cross, and follow you. Thank you for giving us the Holy Spirit that we might walk as you walked and live as you lived. I repent from sins of the past, all known and unknown. I confess my need for a Savior and my deep desire to be loved by you. Come now, Holy God, meet me in this place of surrender. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen