hypcriteJesus finishes criticizing the Pharisees and the Scribes for pretending to be holy in public when in reality they are completely missing the point.  And then He turns to His disciples and tells them to not be hypocrites.

He tells them that what is now spoken of in private will go public in the future (Lk. 12:1-3).

I think Jesus is warning His disciples to not do the opposite, yet just as hypocritical, sin of the Pharisees and Scribes.

His disciples knew the Truth.  In private (and many times in public!), Jesus taught His disciples how to really live and what it means to be human.  The danger for the disciples was not particularly to try to appear more holy than they actually were, but to intentionally appear ignorant when they were taught Truth by God Himself.

Their hypocrisy would exist in publicly denying Truth, but privately teaching it.  A sort of “reversed hypocrisy” of the Pharisees and Scribes.

Jesus then goes on to warn them to not fear the earthly consequences of going public with Truth, with really living the life they’d be taught.  Rather, He warns them to fear the eternal consequences of NOT going public…of being hypocrites.

We all know the immense persecution the following years would bring to the disciples.  As a result of going public, most of them would die a criminal’s death.

I can’t say that I face anywhere near the same persecution as the early Church.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t face the daily conscious decision of whether or not to be a hypocrite, even if the word “hypocrite” doesn’t come to mind.

How do I make myself appear at work?  Too often I give the appearance of not taking Truth seriously, especially in the little things…by the jokes I laugh at, or the comments I make or don’t make.  I fear coming off as “holier than thou”  and “out of touch” if I live what Jesus taught at work…and that would make me unapproachable.  It is easier to live a sort of split-life…the serious Christian in private and on Sunday mornings, but “just one of the guys” in public.

But Jesus tells me that I’m being hypocritical.

Or at home.  I know the truth that I need to be more selfless.  I exhort our community to do the same.  But what next steps do I actually take to live this Truth?  I must learn to be intentionally more selfless with my wife.  Even when I’m tired, especially when I’m tired, to serve her rather than expecting to be served.

Otherwise, Jesus tells me I’m a hypocrite.  This is where the rubber meets the road.  Do I really want to push deeper?

This does not mean that if we are not perfect, then we are hypocrites.  But it does mean that every time we intentionally live below the standards of real life, we are hypocrites.

Thankfully, Jesus also promises us aid (Lk. 12:12).  The Holy Spirit is the power we desperately need to actually do any of this, and He’s just waiting to help us live Truth publicly.  To help us lift our foot, push it forward, and bring it back down again within new territory, within a deeper and more unified relationship with the Creator of the universe.

Intentionally.  In public.