Summary: Luke records for us in the passage we will study today 7 warning signs that Believers need to beware of
"WARNINGS, BELIEVER BEWARE!!"
TEXT: LUKE 12
Several weeks back when we studied Luke chapter 9 and we answered the question, WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM -- And as that great chapter closes Jesus set His face towards Jerusalem.. towards the cross and His death. And we said that from this point on in Luke’s Gospel we were reading the words and acts of a dying man -- as we watch Jesus’ ministry begin to take a turn from popularity to opposition and rejection, we said that things were going to begin to heat up and they do...
In Luke chapter 11, Jesus hits His opposition head on -- He doesn’t run from it - He runs to it... chapter 11 ends with Jesus rebuking the scribes and Pharisees; telling them THE INSIDE OF THEIR CUP WAS FULL OF GREED AND WICKEDNESS -- THAT THEY HAD NEGLECTED JUSTICE AND THE LOVE OF GOD -- HOW THEY WANT THE MOST IMPORTANT PLACES IN THE MARKET PLACE -- HE CALLED THEM UNMARKED GRAVES -- TO WHICH AN EXPERT IN THE LAW SAID, "TEACHER WHEN YOU SAY THESE THINGS YOU INSULT US...."
AND JESUS RESPONDED TO HIM "AND YOU EXPERTS IN THE LAW WOE TO YOU -- BECAUSE YOU LOAD THE PEOPLE DOWN WITH BURDENS THEY CAN HARDLY CARRY AND YOU YOURSELVES WILL NOT LIFT ONE FINGER TO HELP THEM.."
AND WHEN THIS REBUKING WAS OVER -- LUKE RECORDS THE FOLLOWING, "WHEN JESUS LEFT THERE, THE PHARISEES AND THE TEACHER OF THE LAW BEGAN TO OPPOSE HIM FIERCELY AND TO BESIEGE HIM WITH QUESTIONS WAITING TO CATCH HIM IN SOMETHING HE MIGHT SAY.."
This brings us to Luke chapter 12. And as Luke chapter 12 opens up, Jesus is surrounded by a large crowd (in the thousands). And as it always was when Jesus spoke, there was much pushing and jockeying for position. Can you feel the energy and sense the excitement of the crowd gathering to hear Jesus (picture it in your mid).
But before Jesus even addresses this crowd, He turns and tells something to the 12.
Everyone here who has a drivers license has taken a written test, and part of that written test has to do with being able to recognize signs. Blue signs mean something -- so do red, white and brown also means something... And a yellow sign, informs us of potential danger, it cautions us -- it warns us. For example; slippery when wet; sharp curve ahead, bridge out, and some signs warns us that bridges will ice over before the road does.
Luke records for us in the passage we will study today 7 warning signs that Believers need to beware of -- Jesus wants to make us fully aware of the very real dangers that await us -- if we choose to travel down these roads..
So let’s listen to Jesus warnings today -- because these dangers are still real and they are still out there... And many in the church have ignored the warning.
I. BEWARE OF HYPOCRISY (12:1-7)
READ VERSE 1
The word hypocrite comes from a Greek word that means "an actor," "one who plays a part." There are hypocrites in every walk of life, people who try to impress others in order to hide their real selves. In the Christian Life a hypocrite is somebody who tries to appear more spiritual than he or she really is. These people know that they are pretending, and they hope they will not be found out. Their Christian life is merely a shallow masquerade. It is easy to see why Jesus gave this warning at this particular time. You see, very soon the disciples would begin their own ministry -- and they might be tempted either to gain popularity by pleasing the crowds, or avoid trouble by pleasing the scribes and Pharisees.
All of us want people to like us , and it seems like such an easy thing to "act the part" that we feel others want to see.
The Pharisees were big time hypocrites -- that is why Jesus said they were unmarked graves and that the inside of their cups were dirty. They were not at all what they appear to be on the outside.
SINCE HYPOCRISY IS SOMETHING JESUS CONDEMNS -- HOW CAN WE KEEP HYPOCRISY OUT OF OUR LIVES?
1. First, by recognizing what hypocrisy is -- Jesus compared it to yeast or leaven -- something every Jew would associate with sin & evil. The Apostle Paul also used leaven to symbolize sin when in I Corinthian 5 he talked about church Discipline and how if sin is not dealt with, it will work through the whole batch of doe.
Like yeast hypocrisy starts very small but grows very quickly. And once a person begins to pretend who he or she is -- the pretending increases to a point where the person does not even know whom they are anymore/they are always putting on a mask and being someone else....