During my years at a Christian college, it came
to my attention that several of the students had adopted a very
unusual ritual. At around 11 on Sunday morning these students
would roll out of bed and hit the showers. The men would shave;
the women would put on their make-up and carefully fix their hair.
Then they put on their Sunday best and preceded to the dining hall
for lunch. Although they didn't wake up in time to go to church,
it was obviously very important to them to give the impression
that they had.
These students evidently didn't know about the day of
disclosure at the judgment seat of Christ. Understanding of the
judgment seat destroys hypocrisy and pretence. In just three
verses Jesus cures hypocrisy by revealing a very sobering truth
about our future.
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 made known. Whatever you have said in the dark shall
be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private
rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. (Luke 12:1c-3)
Do you realize that this is actually going to happen? It makes
a difference when you do. I shared this truth with Jennifer, our
six-year-old daughter, and asked her several weeks later if it had
made any difference in her life. She said, "I don't think I lie
very much any more." When I asked her why not, she responded,
"What's the use?"
Striving to Look Good
In the above passage, what were the Pharisees doing that was so
dangerous? Like the hypocritical students, they sought to impress
men. Even when they did good deeds such as fasting, praying, and
giving to the poor, they tried to make sure that others would
notice. They weren't trying to please God or to benefit man; they
were striving to look good in man's eyes.
Since Christ bore our punishment already, the issue at the
judgment seat is not punishment; the issue is reward. God will
bestow reward after exposing not only what you did, but also why
you did those things.