Dunbar Cave Campus Pastor
12 In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.
Practice what you preach. Have you ever heard this phrase before? It’s interesting that the religious leaders of Jesus’ day lived a double life. They did not practice what they preached. On the outside, they appeared religious but on the inside they were spiritually dead. The “gave off the appearance of godliness but denied its power” (2 Tim 3:5).
This is why Jesus tells His disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. He actually says: “Be on guard against the leaven.” As pervasive as yeast is in a loaf of bread, so was the sinfulness and corruption in the Pharisees. They claimed to follow the laws of God yet were sinful and their hearts were filled with unbelief.
Jesus was warning his disciples to stay away from pharisaical attitudes and man made traditions. This stuff has a tendency to spread in the church. It can create division and separation and confusion. Ultimately, it leads to judgment. The question we have to ask ourseleves is are we promoting Jesus or traditions? Do we live one way in public and another in private? Are we practicing what we preach?
Theologian Thabiti Anyabwile says it like this: “One day our lives will be shown on the big screen of God’s judgment. It will be a split screen. On one side will be the life we showed the world. On the other side will be the life we tried to hide. If they’re the same, then we have integrity. We are true disciples—true to God, true to self, and true to others. But if the two screens show different pictures, then we will be condemned as hypocrites. It will be shouted from the rooftop of heaven.”