Luke takes us on another jump in Jesus’ timeline. He doesn’t give us a location for our story today. One of the details we are told about is the number of people currently surrounding Jesus. We are also told that everyone was pushing and shoving trying to get to Jesus. I’m wondering if this is one of the times He fed the multitude. If it was Luke, through the urging of the Holy Spirit, didn’t choose to focus on that aspect of Jesus’ day. Instead he highlighted a conversation that took place between Jesus and His disciples. A conversation containing a warning and a promise.
I am puzzled by one of the statements Luke uses to set up the scene. In the middle of verse one, Luke writes, “He began to say to His disciples first.” I’m wondering if this means that He shared this same warning and promise with the group that was pressing in on Him AFTER He shared it with His disciples, or if He shared this message with them BEFORE attending to the needs of the crowd.
Since Jesus started with the warning we will too. In Luke’s writing Jesus had just dealt with the Pharisees in a very stern way. We are not told if this story follows the previous one chronologically, but Luke put them together because they relate to one another topically. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the first story probably preceded this one but I am not even going to guess at the time gap. What I will say is that Jesus has previously made it clear to His disciples His feelings about the religious leaders, especially the Pharisees.
During the meal with the Pharisees, their hypocrisy was one of the main issues Jesus addressed. He didn’t come out and state it exactly like He did in this passage, but His meaning was pretty clear. Jesus chooses to use a metaphor in this context too, but gives immediate feedback as to His meaning. Why did He use this metaphor? Why didn’t He simply state His point? Was this a common saying? Was “leaven” a common metaphor? Or did Jesus want to make this lesson stick in His disciples’ minds and this was a great way to do it? He used this same metaphor in another story that we looked at. If you want to go back and check that one out, here is the link to Matthew’s telling of the leaven story.
The next part of Jesus teaching/private instructions can be taken in two different ways. I was thinking about it in one way, until I read my bible helps and it took the story a totally different way. I don’t know which one Jesus was leading His disciples to that day, but I do know that His stories have many layers and this one is no exception. Let’s look at both ways. We will start with my bible help’s version.
In my commentary section, Jesus words about nothing being covered up that won’t be revealed at some time focuses on the Judgement Seat experience. This fits with the leaven of the Pharisees, as Jesus would be telling His disciples that the Pharisees would be held accountable for their hypocrisy in the end. He would also be telling His disciples that EVERYTHING they did in secret would be made known. No secret sin. No hidden motives. He would also be warning His disciples that they should expect the same for their hidden agendas and any hypocrisy. Bottom line, DON’T be like the Pharisees; hypocrites. Make sure your walk and your talk match up.
The direction I was heading is more of a positive promise instead of a punitive promise. Because of the need to keep God’s plan secret, God has been keeping many of the people who come to Jesus from seeing the whole truth. God has revealed parts of His plan to Jesus’ disciples through His Holy Spirit, but much is still hidden. I hear Jesus promising His disciples that there is coming a time soon where what has been hidden will finally be revealed. A time is coming where His word and truth will be shouted from the rooftops. When there are no more secrets. Although we have a LOT more understanding than Jesus’ disciples did at that point, we still don’t understand or know it all. That day is still up ahead. A day worth waiting for.
Father God, thank You for Your promises. Thank You that You will make all things clear, in Your time. I can take that promise to the bank! Actually, I can take ALL Your promises to the bank. Help me keep searching Your word and learning more of You every day until You remove all secrets. I don’t know if it will be instantaneous or during our bench time, but I am excited to finally see clearly what You have been working on since the beginning of time.
Thank You for Your grace too. I know that I have had times of hypocrisy in my life. Some of them have been pretty big and ugly. But You cleaned them for me. You were, and still are, able to do what no man can do; separate the leaven from my life. You can remove impurities from my mind and heart that were so deeply hidden that I didn’t think anyone would ever find them. You did. Thank You for that God. It’s not comfortable but it is necessary. I DO NOT want to wait until I stand before Your Judgement throne to deal with these hidden issues. Root them out NOW. Thank You for the blood of Jesus too that covers any that we didn’t get to before my time here is done. Jesus’ blood washes me and paid for my sins, past, present and future. Thank You for that gift. I will never be worthy of it, but I will ALWAYS be thankful for it.