Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy…
Jesus speaks first to His disciples… Hello. He’s not blasting the Pharisees here, he’s warning his disciples. He’s not saying, “Hey, homies, you got it going on.” He’s saying, “Watch out. This hypocrisy is dangerous stuff.”
Hypocrisy is a gas-making, over-reacting, self-absorbing splash of No Good
… be on your guard.
And so he continues talking, because the obvious question is how, Lord?
… Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Don’t be afraid of puffed up earthly power.
Be “afraid” instead, of the One whose power extends to heaven and hell. Be shrunk to size in the shadow of His wing. Understand just how BIG He is. Understand His power. But then understand this:
This great God loves you.
He dotes over you like a father. He counts all your fingers and your toes. He counts the number of hairs on your head. This powerful, the-buck-stops-here God loves you.
So, yes, fall on your face in respect-filled love because this Mighty Creator is due our reverence. But don’t be afraid of this Father God who sees every sparrow,
and doesn’t let one
not. even. one.
fall outside of his care.
And you are worth so much more than a sparrow.
How often we hear the world’s grumblings about the hypocrisy of Christians. How often I’ve pointed fingers and berated those in the house of God myself… umm, hello, like I’m immune? Like I have the market corner on authenticity? Oh paleeez!
Sin runs rampant in the church, like everywhere else. And yes, sometimes it would appear that hypocrisy is our sin of choice. Because, unlike “the world,” we seem to think we have something to prove
… but too often forget what we are meant to prove is Jesus’s love.
Instead we hold onto the fear that says “I must put on a smile, and use all the new Christianese language I’ve learned, and convince the world that I’m invincible” – even if my world is falling apart. I must name it, claim it, and Bible beat my way into believing it -but behind closed doors, I’ll let my hair down and my shield down and just lay down.
Or maybe I won’t…
Maybe I’ll just hole up instead, tight in this safe tabernacle I’ve built around me, because I didn’t know what else to do with His glory on the mountain side. I didn’t know enough to simply shut up and listen to the Father interrupting me and telling me, “This is my beloved son. Listen to him!” And when I listen I hear him say,
“Be on guard, Little One, from the enemy within. Hypocrisy stinks like the rotting flesh that it is. So, come, take time with me. You may end up falling on your face in awestruck reverence, or falling on your knees in desperate need. (My Presence tends to do that to my creation.)
…But don’t be afraid
because my peace will guard you
because my love will save you
because my eye is on the sparrow.
And you, dear sweet one, are worth more than many sparrows.
You are worth the life of my son.
Yes, Lord. Yes.
Linking up with Coffee for your Heart