Sermon # 81 Luke Sermons
Title: A Message For The Master’s Friends
Text: Luke 12:1-7
Subject: Christ’s Warnings to His Friends
Date: Sunday Evening—June, 2002
Tape # X-4b
(Luke 12:1-7) "In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. (2) For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. (3) Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. (4) And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. (5) But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. (6) Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? (7) But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows."
We have in this chapter a message to the Master’s Friends. While the scribes and Pharisees were laying for him, seeking some pretentious ground for hurling vile accusations at him (11:54), as literally thousands of people crowded to hear him, the Lord Jesus turned to his disciples, those men and women who followed him, and particularly to those men whom he had chosen and sent out to preach the gospel and gave them the message contained in these verses.
The message is simple, clear and forthright. I will give it to you in seven statements.
I. The Lord Jesus Christ was an exemplary preacher (v. 1).
This first lesson I take not from our Master’s words so much as from his behavior.
(Luke 12:1) "In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy."
Our Lord Jesus was constantly concerned for the welfare of his people. While the scribes and Pharisees were seeking his ruin, his heart and mind were occupied, his every thought was focused on his disciples. He did nothing to defend or protect himself. He was concerned for his people.
What an example he is. I pray that he will make me such a preacher, a preacher and a pastor fully devoted to the welfare of God’s people, serving the souls of men, with no thought of self-interest!
Now, watch the Master. There were, as I said, literally thousands of people gathered around him. What would he say? How would he speak? Here is God who is love incarnate, the only man who ever loved men perfectly. How will he speak? Surely every preacher will be wise to emulate him.
Our Lord began his message with a severe, public denunciation of the most powerful, influential religious leaders and the religion they represented. Unsparingly, unflinchingly, without partiality, he denounced the scribes and Pharisees as utter hypocrites.
How different things might be today if gospel preachers everywhere would follow his example!
· Our Master was more concerned for the glory of God than the approval of men.
· He was more concerned for the welfare of men’s souls than their applause.
· He was more concerned for his people than for his own reputation, safety, and comfort.
II. Here’s the second lesson.—We must constantly guard against hypocrisy (v. 1).
“He began to say unto his disciples first of all”—He directed his message not to the Pharisees, nor to the multitude, but to his disciples. These men to be the preachers of his Gospel. It was therefore needful that they (and we) be made aware of the pretentious devices arts of the Scribes and Pharisees. He knew that we need to be warned and prepared for the devices of Satan and his messengers who come as wolves in sheep’s clothing.
“Before all things, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”—This warning, he says, is to stand before us above all cautions, above all beacons, before all things. My brothers and sisters, ever beware of this leaven which will ultimately ruin everything—HYPOCRISY!
In doctrine and in conduct, the whole of the Pharisees’ religion was nothing but an outward show of piety. The whole of their religion is outward, designed and practiced for man’s approval. It is all appearance only.
Our Lord compares it to leaven. Though, perhaps, very small at first, it gradually increases and spreads itself. Like leaven, it lies hidden and covered, and is not easily discerned. Its agenda and influence and effects are not open and above board. But given time it infects and corrupts the whole of men’s principles and practices. Religion without Christ puffs and swells men with pride like nothing else.
· Beware of every doctrine and religious practice that is obviously intended for show.
· Beware of everything that seems pretentious.
· Beware, above all else, of your own tendency to such things!
If we would avoid the danger of hypocrisy, the deadly plague of pretense, we must ever seek to be simple, sincere, and open, honest with God, especially about ourselves.
(2 Corinthians 11:2-3) "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. (3) But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."
III. Third, There is a day coming when all things shall be revealed and made known (v. 2).
(Luke 12:2) "For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known."
Our Lord repeated this fact so often that all who heard him must have thought it was a matter he intended for us to lay to heart.
(Matthew 10:26) "Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known."
(Mark ) "For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad."
(Luke 8:17) "For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad."
· What a warning for hypocrites!
· What a consolation for believers!
(1 Corinthians 4:3-4) "But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. (4) For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord."
IV. Fourth, that which the Lord God has been pleased to reveal to us we must proclaim to the world (v. 3).
(Luke 12:3) "Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops."
Has the Lord God revealed to us the gospel of his grace? Then let us proclaim it from the housetop.
1:15-17) "So, as much as in me is,
I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at
V. Fifth, there are some people in this world whom the Son of God has made to be his friends (v. 4).
Look at the opening line of verse 4.
(Luke 12:4) "And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do."
· He is the Friend of publicans and sinners. Rejoice!
· He is the Friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Give thanks!
· But here is something else. He has made us his friends.
(John 15:14-15) "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. (15) Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you."
VI. Sixth, there is nothing so destructive to our faithfulness and usefulness as the fear of man (vv. 4-5).
(Luke 12:4-5) "And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. (5) But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him."
· The fear of man is bondage.
· The only cure there is for the fear of man is the fear of God.
· Life and death are in his hands.
· Hell and everlasting judgment and wrath are real.
VII. Seventh, God’s elect have nothing to fear (v. 7).
(Luke 12:6-7) "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? (7) But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows."