In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered, so much so that they trampled one another, he began to say to his disciples first, ‘Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.’ (Luke 12:1, KJV)
Jesus sternly warned His disciples about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, likening it to leaven. His caution holds even greater importance for us today in the face of the heightened degree of deception and corruption in God’s house.
Hypocrisy involves portraying a public image that conflicts with one’s true self, intentions, or motivations. Consequently, a hypocrite is an actor pretending to possess qualities or beliefs that they do not genuinely have. In God’s house, hypocrisy manifests as individuals who feign as Christians or ministers but lack authenticity. Since they don’t align with their claims, they are compelled to play their role in public continuously; they must constantly act as Christians or minister as true ministers to maintain the public image.
Why does hypocrisy occur? The answer is straightforward: humans are limited to outward appearances and cannot see the heart( 1 Samuel 16:7). A person may behave or speak in a manner that diverges completely from what’s in their heart, and no one around them might know it (e.g., Psalms 55:21). Conversely, God can see the heart, making it impossible to mislead Him through hypocrisy as one might mislead humans.
While genuine Christians can occasionally behave hypocritically, just as we can sin, the main danger of hypocrisy in God’s house arises from false brethren, teachers, and prophets. They pose as the most dangerous adversaries of the Church because they erode it from within. Hence, the Lord instructs us to examine everything (1 Thessalonians 5:21, Ephesians 5:10).
Why do some people conceal their true identities or motives? (2 Corinthians 11:14)
Apply the Word
Just as Jesus cautioned His disciples in Luke 12:1, He cautions us today: beware of the leaven of hypocrisy. Satan himself now epitomizes hypocrisy, transforming into an angel of light. Deception serves as a potent strategy for infiltration and destruction.
Request that the Father assists us in examining all things and uncovering hypocrisy when we encounter it.
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