Have you ever listened to a sermon about something and thought, "Man, I’m so glad they’re not talking about me? I’ve never done something like that. I’m super humble. If they knew me, they’d know." And then you sit through the rest of the sermon affirming your righteousness? OR, you are on the other end and are worrying about all of the things you are not doing right. Worried about all of the things you don’t have or have not yet attained. There has been a pattern in these gospels of Jesus calling out the religious leaders of the time for their hypocritical actions. I’m sure they were thinking that there was NO WAY Jesus could be talking about them when he would speak his messages. They’ve been checking all of the boxes for years. However, as Jesus continues to speak, he makes it extremely clear that they are the hypocrites he’s speaking of. In chapter 11, the Lord specifically calls out actions of the Pharisees and shows how they are not examples of someone who loves the Lord. Let’s read Luke 12:1-6 “Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be[a] on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Wow! Not only has Jesus called out the Pharisees; now, he is talking to the whole crowd and telling them to watch out or they also might become like the Pharisees. He makes clear to them and us that he sees our hearts. God sees our intentions and motives. He sees when we are acting out of fear of man rather than a reverent fear for the Lord. He boldly calls us to step out of our fear. We are not called to be caught up in worry over the future. And many times, when we are fearing man, our actions can become hypocritical. This happens because we start operating from that place of fear instead of operating out of a place of serving the Lord. We start giving or speaking in a certain way because we are afraid of losing status. We are sometimes more worried or focused on that rather than serving the Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind. BUT, we do not have to live this way. We can be confident in who we are as believers. One of the reasons we do not have to be afraid or worry is because we have the power of the Holy Spirit working in us. John 14:26 says that he is our advocate and that he teaches us all things. Luke 12:12 says that the Holy Spirit would give believers what they needed to say when they were brought before the rulers of that time. During this time, they would have to defend the faith and their actions. BUT, they did not need to fear about what they were going to say or how because the Holy Spirit, the Helper was with them. And we know that is still true for us today. The Holy Spirit is also our witness of the great things God has done in our lives and in the lives of those in the Bible as found in Hebrews 10:15. Since we have this reminder of all of the ways God has been faithful to us in the past, we do not need to worry. We have seen how God clothes the flowers of the field. We have seen how he has provided for the birds of the air. We have even seen the great miracles he has provided for us in the past and present. I know I have miracles that I have seen and I am sure you do as well. We need to start reminding ourselves of these miracles so that worry and anxiety are not a part of our everyday life. So let’s step out of hypocrisy. Let’s step out of the fear of man and the worries of this life and let’s step into all that God has called us to. A life that is truly steadfast in him and a mind that is marked by peace.