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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

SELF-DECEPTION AND HYPROCRISY


 

Today’s Readings:

Psalm 86:1-10;

Ezekiel 29:3-7;

Luke 11:53-12:3

“As Jesus was leaving, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees became hostile and tried to provoke him with many questions. They wanted to trap him into saying something they could use against him.

 

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 11:53-2:3 NLT)

 


In today’s reading, we are told that huge crowd milled around Jesus in order to hear his teaching and to be healed, to the extent that they were stepping on each other but the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees were there to set a trap for him. In the previous verses, Jesus had earlier accused the teachers of the law of having taken away the key to learning. That is, they had locked up the truth of the Scripture and thrown away the key by imposing their faulty interpretations and human reasoning and tradition on the Word of God. His disciples and the crowd were warned to be careful of the yeast of the Pharisees (12:1) This is to prevent them from living a double standard life.


This in itself, is inconsistent with what they really are and what they portray to the world. This warning applies to all ministers/pastors and believers today. Those who teach and preach are to live what they preach and not to give wrong interpretation of the Scripture to suit their reasoning and tradition. In the New Testament the rising leaven is used to depict how the power of sin permeates a person’s life (Ex. 12:14-20; 1Corin 5:6). So, the dough is likened to the hypocrisy and corrupt teachings of the Pharisees which would spread until it affected all the people. Believers are warned here to be careful of false teachings and the hypocrisy of leaders in the church who are really foxes in sheep’s clothing. The deceitful leaders of the church who mislead the children of God are doomed. God knows who is doing what. A time will come when all secret acts will surely be brought to light (12:1b-3). There is nothing hidden that will not be exposed and made known, even little whispers into the ear, will be proclaimed from the roof top. God will judge all men and reveal all human thoughts (Job 10:4-7; 11:11; Ps. 11:4; 33:15; 139:12; Prov. 15:3).


Believers and leaders hiding their evil attitudes while actually their hearts are far away from God are the hypocrites Jesus is talking about. It is not possible to keep one’s wrong attitude for ever, the truth will surely be exposed with time. The selfish, self-centred, power hungry imposters, faking righteous attitudes like the rising dough will burst out one day for people to see. It is easy to bluntly criticise the Pharisees for their hypocrisy, but we all need to avoid the deceptive attitude of appearing to be doing the commands of God when our hearts are far away from Him. In the reign of God, life means we are loved, and forgiven; we have no need to hide and pretend.

OLUFUNMILAYO TITILOLA ADEKUSIBE


 

Prayer:

  1. Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

  2. The Lord reigneth, let the people tremble: He sitteth between the cherubims let the earth be moved.

  3. I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever; with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

  4. Lord keep me from the deceit of the enemy, in Jesus name.

  5. Lord let the power in the blood of Jesus destroy the works of darkness in my life and family, in Jesus name.

  6. Where is the Lord God of Elijah, arise, and scatter all Your enemies around my life and destiny, in Jesus name.

  7. My Father, arise and ordain terrifying noise in the camp of Your enemies, in Jesus name.

  8. Lord draw our children, teenagers, youths and young adults to love You and love Your word; keep them from distraction and the deceit of the world, in Jesus name.

  9. Father Lord, encourage, empower and strengthen the body of Christ to stand up to their mandate to preach the Gospel; back their message with your zeal that their message may be received with honour, in Jesus name.

  10. Father, uphold the nations of the world with Your mighty power, intervene in the affairs of the nations of the world, especially our nation Nigeria. Let there be love, peace and harmony of purpose, in Jesus Name Amen.

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