Fourth Week of Lent – Saturday
April 6, 2019
From Presbyterian Outlook Devotions, Jill Duffield, Editor
1 Meanwhile, when the crowd gathered by the thousands, so that they trampled on one another, he began to speak first to his disciples, "Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, that is, their hypocrisy. 2 Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 3 Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed from the housetops. 4 "I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God's sight. 7 But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. 8 "And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; 9 but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11 When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say;
Good teachers call us out and keep us accountable, not to shame or embarrass, but to coax and encourage us to be better than we imagine we are capable of being. Jesus speaks a hard word in these verses, one that we, too, must hear. Where are we practicing hypocrisy, saying one thing and doing another?
Jesus, we do not want to admit the many ways we say one thing on Sunday and do another on Monday through Friday. We praise your name in worship, confess your lordship in our lives publicly, but fail to practice love for one another or care for the least of those among us. We recognize our hypocrisy and seek to live with integrity,
with your help. Amen.