Secrets Exposed: Luke 12:1-12

Focus Passage: Luke 12:1-12 (GW)

Meanwhile, thousands of people had gathered. They were so crowded that they stepped on each other. Jesus spoke to his disciples and said, “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees. I’m talking about their hypocrisy. Nothing has been covered that will not be exposed. Whatever is secret will be made known. Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight. Whatever you have whispered in private rooms will be shouted from the housetops.

“My friends, I can guarantee that you don’t need to be afraid of those who kill the body. After that they can’t do anything more. I’ll show you the one you should be afraid of. Be afraid of the one who has the power to throw you into hell after killing you. I’m warning you to be afraid of him.

“Aren’t five sparrows sold for two cents? God doesn’t forget any of them. Even every hair on your head has been counted. Don’t be afraid! You are worth more than many sparrows. I can guarantee that the Son of Man will acknowledge in front of God’s angels every person who acknowledges him in front of others. But God’s angels will be told that I don’t know those people who tell others that they don’t know me. 10 Everyone who says something against the Son of Man will be forgiven. But the person who dishonors the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

11 “When you are put on trial in synagogues or in front of rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say. 12 At that time the Holy Spirit will teach you what you must say.”

Read Luke 12:1-12 in context and/or in other translations on BibleGateway.com!

During one of the times where thousands of people were crowded around, Jesus warns His disciples about something to watch out for and to be careful about. Some might think that this message was simply for those living in the first century; however, I believe there is a bigger truth in the theme behind this message.

Luke’s gospel records Jesus telling His followers: “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees. I’m talking about their hypocrisy. Nothing has been covered that will not be exposed. Whatever is secret will be made known. Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight. Whatever you have whispered in private rooms will be shouted from the housetops.” (v. 1-3)

This first portion of Jesus’ message has a powerful message regarding secrets, simply that secrets will never remain secret. The only thing that is up to us is whether we will reveal the secret on our own terms, or whether we will let it be discovered by others when it may not be convenient.

While we know more about these first disciples of Jesus than most any other specific person in history, I think Jesus’ warning is for everyone regarding the nature of secrets, even though He was speaking to the disciples while others in a crowd that listened in. It would not surprise me at all to learn that there were Pharisees in the crowd present for this event.

Reading this passage makes me think the Pharisees in that culture lived with secrets. It seems like they had their private lives that contained secret sins, and then their public lives that they tried to make look perfect and sinless. This is the nature of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is holding others to a standard that you don’t hold yourself to and living differently in private than you do in public.

Secrets and hypocrisy are closely connected, and Jesus’ message about each should prompt us to live differently. As I read what Jesus wrote, I see it as a challenge to live a life that matches both our public lives as well as our private lives, and live in a way where we won’t have anything that needs to be kept a secret. Living transparently with self-control is living with true freedom, because we choose to live without hypocrisy and without secrets weighing on our minds.

Jesus’ message about secrets and hypocrisy is just as true today as it was when He first spoke it. While we don’t have literal Pharisees to worry about in the same way that the first disciples did, there are plenty of ways hypocrisy can inch its way into our lives. Whatever secrets we have in our lives will eventually be revealed. We cannot stop them from being made known. About the only thing we can decide is whether we will publicize our secrets on our own terms, or let others discover them when it may not be as convenient.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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