Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Monday after the Seventh Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on August 1, 2022 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Luke 12:1-9 (NKJV)
12:1 In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will 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 show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!
6 “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
8 “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. 9 But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.”
The “leaven of the Pharisees” is their hypocrisy, which is the sinful evil that leads these Jewish leaders to resist and persecute Jesus and His Gospel. Hypocrisy is one of the more despicable sins, especially diabolical when practiced by religious leaders. Jesus assures us that nothing can be concealed that will not be disclosed before God. In this context, the meaning is that nothing hidden through hypocrisy will fail to be made known. Things whispered in secret will be loudly and publicly proclaimed.
In relation to hypocrisy Jesus warns all to fear no one or anything but the One who has the power to throw you into hell. God alone has this power. Respect His authority, stand in awe of His majesty, and trust in Him. Verses six and seven give the basis for this trust in the holy Living God. God knows and cares for all the Creation, and if not one sparrow falls, nor a single hair from your head exists without His knowledge, how can it be imaginable that He does not care for you, who are worth vastly more than a single sparrow that is sold for less than a penny? When a person acknowledges that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, Jesus acknowledges that the individual is His disciple, and thus a holy heir to Paradise.
Prayer: O God, Whose never-failing Providence ordereth all things both in Heaven and Earth: we humbly beseech Thee to put away from us all hurtful things, and to give us those things which be profitable for us; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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