The Leaven of Hypocrisy
Back in 1997, a container ship called the Tokio Express sank, which had 62 containers on board. One of those containers had nearly 4.8 million pieces of Lego bound for New York.
No one knows exactly what happened next, or even what was in the other 61 containers, but Lego pieces – and only Lego pieces – started washing up on both the north and south beaches of Cornwall (UK). And in a quirky twist, many of the Lego items were nautical-themed, so locals and tourists alike have found miniature cutlasses, flippers, spear guns, sea grass, and scuba gear.
A U.S. oceanographer named Curtis Ebbesmeyer, who studies ocean currents and has been studying the story of the Lego pieces on the coast of Cornwall, offered a simple lesson. He said,
The most profound lesson I’ve learned from the Lego story is that things that go to the bottom of the sea don’t always stay there. . . . They can be carried around the world, seemingly randomly, but subject to the planet’s currents and tides. The incident is a perfect example of how even when inside a steel container, sunken items don’t stay sunken.
Certain things in our spiritual lives – especially our sins – don’t stay sunken forever. Like the Lego pieces, these spiritual realities will eventually rise to the surface. The question is what we will do when we come across signs of them in our lives, sticking up out of the sand?
Jesus routinely exposed sin in people’s lives. He even exposed hypocrisy in the lives of the Pharisees, the religious leaders of his day. Jesus had just had dinner at the home of a Pharisee and pronounced woes upon the Pharisees and lawyers. Jesus’ pronouncement made the Pharisees and lawyers so angry that they wanted to catch him in some mistake so that they could kill him. This is the context for Jesus’ warning about spiritual hypocrisy.
"In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops." Luke 12:1-3.
None of us, is immune to the temptation of the Pharisees, to the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Without realising it, we can slip into patterns of playing games with God, of putting up appearances before others, when we know in our hearts there are desires far greater than God. If that's where you are today, I beg you, don't play that game. Own up to the fact that your sin is far worse than you've ever admitted. Own up to the fact that it's absolutely indefensible before God and that it's so bad that you deserve to be cast into hell.
And then realize this — your Savior knows that better than you do. There is no sin that is beyond the forgiveness of God. So, confess your sin to God. And, if your sin involves other people, confess your sin to them as well. Then, believe that God sent Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for your sin.
When you repent of your sin and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you shall receive the forgiveness of God. Then commit yourself to live before God and people with sincerity and truth. Amen.