Putting on a Show
Bible Reading: Luke 12:1-3
Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees—beware of their hypocrisy. Luke 12:1
Sarah was an incredible actress—the darling of her eighth-grade drama class. She was an extrovert with a bubbly personality. Sarah’s rise to stardom continued in high school, not just in drama but as the center attraction in everything she did. During her senior year, she was class president and prom queen.
Funny thing about Sarah, though. Hardly anyone knew her as a real person. She was an actress. From her flashy personality to her flamboyant signature in the yearbook, Sarah’s classmates saw only Sarah the performer. Sarah-the-real-person was camouflaged from their view.
All of us are like Sarah—to some extent, anyway. You probably learned early on to put on masks and disguise flaws you didn’t want anyone to see. When we were little, most of us broke into the cookie jar—and then acted like an angel so mom wouldn’t bust us. When we got older we maybe figured out how to tum on the charm and manipulate facts to get what we wanted.
Jesus calls that kind of behavior the “yeast of the Pharisees” or “hypocrisy.” It’s all about pretending to be something you’re not—putting up a front to conceal your true identity. The Greek word actually means “play-acting,” and first referred to Greek dramatists, who were famous for their masks. The Pharisees were the Bible’s Oscar-winning hypocrites. Jesus said about them, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away” (Mark 7:7). They put all their energy into looking religious in front of people, but they were only play-acting. Their relationship with God was fake.
So God doesn’t want his people lurking behind masks. What is he looking for? He wants the opposite of a mask. He wants you to be see-through-transparent. A transparent person shows a completely honest face to himself, to others, and to God. You can see right through him because he’s missing the mask.
Being transparent is especially indispensable for a Christian. You likely blow it on occasion-angry words, hateful deeds, failure, sin. The key to recovery from a bad situation isn’t hypocrisy—hiding behind a mask. It’s transparency-admitting to God and your Christian brothers and sisters that you’re less than perfect and that you need forgiveness.
Easier said than done? Yes. But being transparent is the only way people can get to know and love the real you.
REFLECT: When have you been hidden behind a mask? Why does God not like that brand of hypocrisy?
PRAY: Ask God to help you become transparent.