Clearing Away The Pharisee Leaven
The Pharisee leaven is hypocrisy. If we are infected with this ‘virus’ we are in big trouble. If the leaders of our assemblies are infected all in the flock are blind [the Blind Leading the Blind]. We need to turn from this ‘virus’ at our assemblies. This is very dangerous stuff.
This passage declares that the Pharisee leaven is Hypocrisy.
MKJV Luke 12:1 In the meantime, when there had gathered together an innumerable crowd of people, so as to trample on one another, He began to say to His disciples first, Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, nor anything hidden that shall not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light. And that which you have spoken in the ear in secret rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops. 4 And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you of whom you shall fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you, fear Him.
Right after the Pharisee leaven is defined as hypocrisy we are told that all hidden things will be revealed, we are advised not to fear physical death, but to fear spiritual death and hell. The logical progression to understand the leaven of the Pharisee’s takes us to the prayer of the tax collector and the pharisee.
NKJV Luke 18:9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself [thinking that your are good enough ]will be humbled, and he who humbles himself [recognizing himself as a sinner]will be exalted.”
The problem is spelled out for us, self righteousness. No matter how well we seem to be doing we are still sinners, desperately in need of God’s grace. If we refuse the humble servant role that God gives us, we are not even carrying our own cross. If we think that we deserve anything more than the humble servant of Luke 17,we are sorely mistaken.
Faith and Duty
NKJV Luke 17: 7 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? 8 But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. 10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’”
This is not optional. These passages show us some specifics of how we are to live out this new life in Christ. If we fall into the Presumer – Performer trap we too are infected with this self-righteousness and hypocrasy.
If you do not pass this test, if you still look back at your accomplishments with pride and confidence, if you are not primarily seeking God, his will and his Glory then you are not carrying your cross. Let’s look at one more passage on the Pharisee Leaven
NKJV 1 Cor 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Please deliver us from this Pharisee leaven, from self righteousness and hypocrisy. Help us to embrace our roles ; a royal priesthood of humble servants, seeker – followers fully trusting in your grace, your power and your will. In Jesus Name We Pray, Amen.
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- January 14, 2010 / 1:19 am