Grace Bible Church - Gatesville, Tx
Grace Bible Church - Gatesville, Tx

Episode 111 · 3 months ago

In The Upper Room: Hypocrisy For The Glory Of God


In The Upper Room: Hypocrisy For The Glory Of God

John 13:18-20

Dax Bryant - Preachig

He was a merchant operating ships on the Atlantic Ocean. When the war broke out in seventeen seventy five, he joined the army. He quickly rose through the ranks, loyally and faithfully serving the cause of the American revolution, even playing a part in several key victories. He gained the trust and admiration of General George Washington himself, who appointed him as the military commander of Philadelphia in seventeen seventy eight. There in Philadelphia, he married into a family of high social status, adopting a lifestyle that he really couldn't afford and as a result, among other reasons, he entered into some shady business dealings. That activity was noticed and he, in trying to make a defense, demanded a court martial so that he could clear his name. He did not receive a full smissile, but he did receive a light reprimand from General Washington. He was disappointed in that, but as it turns out, this man had already begun to bargain with the British before the court martial ever began. About a year later, when he was awarded the command of West Point, he finally had something significant to offer the British he would surrender the Fort for the sum of twenty pounds. That plan was exposed when a messenger was apprehended by American forces carrying a document that carried the details of the plot. Upon hearing of the arrest of that messenger, he fled down the Hudson River, boarded a ship and joined the other side of the war. After the British surrendered, he escaped to England and he lived out the remainder of his days, though not without further scandal, but in relative of obscurity. Nevertheless, his name lives on and it has become synonymous in our culture for traitor Benedict Arnold. There is a man a lot like him present in the upper room with Jesus on this night, only far worse. This is where Jesus has gathered with his men to share with them the most intense and intimate instruction that we read of anywhere in all of scripture, as he prepares now, on this night before his death, to love them, as John has written to the end. But before he can do so, there are two obstacles in this room that have to be dealt with. The first one we've seen already. The the air in that upper room is thick with pride. Each disciple, if you remembers, filed into the room. Perhaps they notice the basin of water and the towel over in the corner, but not one of them has made a move toward it. The idea, the very idea of stooping to wash one another's feet is is so far below their dignity that they don't even consider it. And so, to deal with that first problem of their pride, the Lord Jesus gets up from the middle of the supper, strips down to his loincloth, ties that towel around his waist, remember, and he begins to wash the feet of his disciples one by one, a moment they would never forget. And, as we saw last Lord's Day, it was an act, a humble act, that was designed to point ahead to an even more humiliating act that would come in his death on the cross. When we come to this passage, now Jesus deals with the second obstacle, the presence of a trader. In verse eighteen begins with an ominous sounding note. But as you read that, you'll remember this isn't the first time we've heard this note struck. There were dark clouds starting to build way back in verse ten, remember that after Jesus washes his men's feet, he he says to the disciples, and you all are clean, but not every one of you. And then John adds some commentary after that. He says for he knew who was to betray him. That was why he said not all of you are clean. Verse Eighteen now picks up on that earlier statement. What's happened in between is that Jesus has told them to to lay aside their foolish pride, to imitate him and their love and their service for one another. And he he's promised that if they do that, if they follow in his example, they...

...will receive God's blessings poured out on them. But now he says in verse Eighteen, I am not speaking of all of you, and those dark clouds cast their shadow again. He's he's kind of been hinting around at this, dancing around the edges. What does he mean when he says I am not speaking of all of you? While he explains in the very next phrase, I know whom I have chosen. Literally, I know whom I have elected. In other words, I not only know who each of you are why each of you are here, but I have chosen you to be here at this very moment. Now, that raises a little bit of a problem, doesn't it? Jesus has chosen every one of these men to be with him in this moment. Correct, and Jesus knows each one of these men intimately and thoroughly and completely. That's right. But one of these men who he's chosen, who he knows, is a trader. That's also exactly right. Do you see the problem this might create for someone looking in on this? How in the world can someone who knows all things, including the hearts and the motives of men, choose a trader to be part of his closest followers? Even worse, this guy has been a traitor since the beginning his his level of treachery makes Benedict Arnold looked like a cup scout. He is a living, breathing ill illustration of depravity to the greatest degree. He is the ultimate embodiment of hypocrisy. But here's the thing. God is not fooled by hypocrisy, and this really is our big idea this morning. Not only is God not fooled by hypocrisy, God utilizes hypocrisy for his own glory and he controls it for his own purpose. God utilizes hypocrisy for his glory and he controls it for his purpose. But the question those on the outside looking in might ask, and perhaps something that even the other disciples in the room would have to wrestle with at some point, is how could Jesus make such a seemingly foolish and terrible choice to include a man like Judas to be part of his closest followers? Well, and to state it very simply, not all choosing, not all election, is unto salvation. We see that illustrated here. Think back to John Chapter six. This isn't roughly one year before these events in the upper room, Jesus had miraculously fed a large crowd of people, you remember this. And they show back up the next morning wanting more food, wanting some breakfast, and in response to that, Jesus preaches a message that makes very clear that he is claiming to be God and that salvation only comes from God. He makes some high demands of their so called faith and in response they leave. Almost everyone except the twelve were told. And John Six, verse sixty six says after this, many of his disciples turned back and no longer with him. Jesus said to the twelve, that includes Judas, do you want to go away as well? Simon Peter answered him. Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed and have come to know that you are the holy one of God. Now, how have these men come to believe this? How have they come to know this? Jesus tells them that it's because the father has done a divine work in their hearts. And then, in verse seventy, Jesus says, did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you, from among the twelve whom he has chosen, one of you, is a devil. And then John adds he spoke of Judas, the son of Simon, is scariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going and to betray him. Here's the point I'm trying... make with that. God did not put evil into the heart of Judas. He didn't have to. Judas was fully responsible for all of his own inherent wickedness. And yet, at the same time, according to God's Sovereign Plan, Judas is chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ in order to fulfill a prophetic word written by King David from centuries earlier. I need to go back to verse eighteen to see this. John, verse eighteen, Jesus says, I'm not speaking of all of you, I know whom I have chosen. Okay, saying I know each of you, I've chosen each of you, and the idea is that he's included in that choice, even choosing a trader, so that the scripture will be fulfilled. He says what scripture? He tells us he quotes Psalm Forty One, written by King David. That says he who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me. Betrayal is what's in view there, and betrayal was something that King David himself was very familiar with. There's a story told in Second Samuel, chapter sixteen and Seventeen, where one of David's most trusted advisers, a man by the name of a Hippel, who was very close to David, who knew David intimately, who knew David's strength and weaknesses, betrayed him. This happened when David's son Absalom attempted a coup against his father. It was this man Hifel, who who laid out the strategy, because he knew where David was vulnerable, he knew what David might do, how he might react. Now it turns out his counsel was ignored in this situation, but he had spoken and when the coup failed, Hiphil knew his number was up, and so he rode back to his own hometown and the text says he hanged himself. But the experience broke David's heart and Psalm Forty one, most commentators agree, speaks of this experience of heartbreak in the face of betrayal. In fact, psalm forty one, verse nine says even my close friend and whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me. And now in the upper room we have the ultimate fulfillment of this. Here is Judas, one of Jesus closest and most trusted friends, who will, on this very night, as we're about to see, literally eat his bread. You understand, I'm sure, that in this culture and time that we're that we're speaking of today, and in fact in our own culture and time, to share a meal with someone is significant, to to break bread with someone, especially then, was was more than just having a meal together. It was to pledge a friendship, to to acknowledge a relationship that existed. It was a sign of mutual affection and that that is even heightened more so when when one of those parties at the meal is superior to the other. For someone who is greater than you to offer you a place at third table and to share their bread, that is a show of honor and love, and for the lesser to receive that bread was effectively, in this culture, to pledge their loyalty to that greater person, which which means then to share bread in this context, and then to later lift your heel against that person who shared his bread with you is the ultimate act of betrayal. That that phrase, lift the heel. We need to speak about that for a minute. That's that's more than just turning your back to someone. It carries the connotation of turning and delivering a violent kick, like a horse would do. Even today, to to show the bottom of one's foot in Middle Eastern culture is a sign of disrespect. This has been a while ago now, but remember during the invasion of Iraq, when the statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down and toppled in that square there in Baghdad, and the people climbed on top of the statue. Do you remember what they did? They took their shoes off and they beat the...

...bottom of their shoes on that statue. Same kind of thing just a few years later when President Bush visited the region and that reporter took his shoes off and threw them at the president. That is the modern day look of what it means to lift your heel. It's it's a sign of disrespect. But here for for Judas to lift his heel against Jesus, in betrayal the same filthy heal that Jesus has just washed a few moments ago. Don't forget, this is the ultimate in hypocrisy. Judas, for three years he's walked with Jesus. He saw all of the signs with his own eyes, he heard all of Jesus's words with his own ears. When Jesus sent the disciples out two by two to preach the Gospel, to Perform Miracles, Judas was there, presumable doing the same thing that the other men were doing. But on this night, at this very moment in the upper room. There are thirty pieces of silver already Jangling in his back pocket, and now he is just waiting for the right opportunity to cash in the money he's been advanced. Now, can you see how this whole dynamic might be a problem for the disciples? Let's think about what they've gone through and what they're about to go through here. Here they are in this room. They've been gathered to gather by their master. They are about to be commissioned by Jesus himself to go out and proclaim him as the Messiah, the very son of God. But what are they to do with this upcoming betrayal? What are they to conclude when this plays out? That that the shrewdness of Judas was greater than the discernment of Jesus, that that somehow Jesus was a victim in this master plan? And so, to get in front of those concerns, Jesus lets them know what's going to happen before it happens. Verse Nineteen. I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place, you may believe that I am he divine omniscience has some advantages. Jesus's Knowledge of Judas's evil intentions will not only not undermine the disciple's faith, it will actually serve to strengthen the disciples faith. Because Jesus says, I'm telling you now what's going to happen before it happens. Why? So that they will understand, looking back, that Jesus had sovereign control over the entire situation, so that they will know that he was not fooled by the the subtlety and the hypocrisy of Judas, but rather that Jesus was at work using the hypocrisy of Judas in that moment for his own glory. So he says, I'm telling you this now before it takes place, that when it does take place, you may believe, and in the original language says literally, that I am I am who. Well, certainly in the immediate context I am the Messiah. But as we've seen several times in John's Gospel already, when Jesus uses this Greek rendering of the divine name of God from the Old Testament, he is making the greatest possible claim to deity. He is revealing himself to be Yahweh of the Old Testament. He's using the name of the one true God that is eternal, sovereign and self sufficient. Eternal in the sense that he had no beginning and he has no end, sovereign in the sense that he rules and reigns over all things, and self sufficient in this sense that he needs no one or no thing to accomplish his purpose. Jesus, very subtly here, is reinforcing his divine identity with his disciples by letting them know in advance what's going to happen, that he's not a helpless victim in this, that his life is not about to be stolen away, in fact, that he will lay his own life down at the time he sees fit, and that that gets us back to that first part of our big idea, that that Jesus always knew of the hypocrisy of Judas and he utilizes that hypocrisy for his own glory. He used the hypocrisy of Judas in such a way...

...that that his majesty as the eternal son of God would be known and seen and trusted in an even greater way. So again, rather than this event damaging the faith of the disciples, Judas's actions are actually used by Jesus to reinforce and build up their faith in him and that that's very important for us to see, because this is always how God uses evil. We can spend a lot of time wondering why God allows evil in this world. It's one of the questions that the men in the Joshua journey are kind of wrestling with this month as we look at apologetics and and there are some good answers to that question. I hope to hear some good answers to that tonight. But it's also safe to say that we won't be able to fully answer that question thoroughly this side of heaven. But we can know this right with without the presence of evil in the world, there are certain things, certain qualities of God that would not be known by us to the extent that they are. The presence of evil in the world heightens our knowledge and experience of God's mercy. The presence of evil in the world heightens and and increases our knowledge of God's Justice, God's righteousness, and so part of what makes the existence of evil beneficial to us is that we can see and know and trust that God is sovereignly in control over all of it and in fact he uses it to display his glory to a world that would not know these kinds of things about God without the existence of evil. And so Jesus says, I'm telling you this now, beforehand, before it happens, so then when it does happen, you will believe that I am he then he continues in verse twenty. Let's read this carefully. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Now, I have to admit at first glance it is difficult to see exactly how this little verse fits into the flow of the rest of the dialogue of what's happening here. That doesn't seem to really fit or or make a lot of sense. So let's let's back up a little bit to try and understand what Jesus is saying here. Remember, Jesus has just finished washing their feet and he and he's told them effectively in this same sense, I want you to live this way for the rest of your lives, to to practice my example among yourselves and to love and serve one another like this. And then in Verse Sixteen, he he hints that he's going to be sending them out. At the the Messenger is not greater than the one who sends him. That's something he's kind of hinted about before. He'll talk about it again before this night is over. and then in verse seventeen he promises blessing for those who live in this way. But then suddenly, in verse eighteen, he insinuates betrayal is imminent, and so you can imagine perhaps that these disciples are their heads are spinning, they're wondering what is what is going on? Let me, let me try to put this together. Jesus has has called us to do this task. He's telling us that he's going to send us, but one of us is this very night going to lift his heel against him. So then, what does that mean for the most of us? Is the credibility of the whole movement shot? And I think here Jesus wants the rest of these men to know that their position in him is safe and secure, that that what is about to happen with Judas has no bearing on their relationship to him, and so I think now it's in that context that he's reassuring them. In Verse Twenty He's saying effectively far from the rest of you betraying me. Your life is going to be so inextricably bound up with mine that when people receive you, it will be as if they're receiving me, and even more than that, it will be as if they are receiving the one who sent me. That's how closely your mission will be to who I am. In other words, he's, I think, trying to reassure them that, despite what is about to happen this night, there is nothing for you to fear. Your place, your purpose in this...

...ministry that I am preparing to send you out into will be preserved, and I think that would have been a precious promise for these men to hold onto, especially in the hours and days ahead, when when doubt and fear would begin to creep in. So I think it's a reassuring promise he makes. But then notice what he says in Verse Twenty One. After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit. troubled. It is that same word we've seen already in John's Gospel to Rosso. We saw it back in chapter eleven. This described Jesus's reaction outside the tomb of Lazarus when people were weeping and wailing and carrying on. The word means agitated, disturbed. It speaks of great emotional distress. So why is Jesus troubled right here? We're not told exactly. We can perhaps use our sanctified imagination to to speculate a bit. Maybe it was because his continual love that he had displayed toward Judas had never been genuinely returned. Maybe it was because he understood the degree of hypocrisy to which Judas was about to descend. Maybe because of his holy hatred of evil and that he knew the very embodiment of evil would soon be sitting right next to him, as in just a few moments, Satan himself will come to Endwell Judas. Maybe considering that Judas was about to draw nearer to his eternal destiny, that he would not escape from a destiny in hell. We're not told the details of why Jesus was troubled, only that Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified. And now, finally, all of the hints, all of the INN windows, all of the dancing around that gets left behind and he states things here as clearly as they can be said. He testified truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me. Imagine the reaction to that bomb being dropped in that room. First twenty two the disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. I find that very interesting that not one of these men pointed their finger at Judas and said, Oh, I always had a funny feeling about that guy. I always had my doubts about why would Jesus include somebody like this to be part of this group. I wish he'd be a little more careful about who he runs with. But but the very fact that no one point of the finger, that that they didn't say those kinds of things, that is a testament to the level of Judas's hypocrisy, isn't it? He has been with these men for three years and they have never suspected him of anything like this, not even in the slightest. In fact, we know he was the treasurer of the group, right he carried the money bag. That that's a position that clearly indicates his perceived responsibility, his perceived trustworthiness. In fact, Judas might have been the last man in the group that they would have ever suspected of such a thing, and so they're at a loss. Verse Three, one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table close to Jesus. Now this is the first time we're introduced to this disciple in this way. As we'll come to find out, this is John's humble way of referring to himself the disciple whom Jesus loved. But but more importantly here, I think, to help you get the picture of what's happening, we do need to try to understand what I think is very likely the seating arrangement around this table to get the full picture. As I mentioned last week, this is not like Uh da Vinci's famous painting of the Last Supper with the with the twelve all in a straight line at a high table. These men lay on mats outside the perimeter of a low to the ground table in a in a U shape. According to the Roman Customs of the day, which the Jews in the first century had adopted for formal occasions such as even the Passover. They leaned on their left elbow so they could eat with their right hand, the clean hand, and their feet would be extending behind them away from the table on those mats where Jesus was able to access the feet easily... wash them. Now, if we don't have time to go into all of that, I almost put a slide up to kind of show you what I think this looks like, what scholars think this looks like. But just in principle I'm kind of against that. But but if this, if this layout of the table is correct, so a u shaped table. If that's correct, and I think that it probably is, we can be reasonably certain of where at least four central characters in the upper room reclined around this table, and that, I think, flushes out the story here of what's happening. It makes sense of the story. So Jesus, of course, is the host of this meal. John was to Jesus's immediate right. We know this because he was able, on his left elbow, to lean back and speak to Jesus. Peter, we can speculate, but again I think it's right, was somewhere across from John, perhaps on the other leg of that you, at least in a position where he could make eye contact with John and give some sort of signal to ask Jesus a question. That's what we see in Verse Twenty Four. So Simon Peter motioned to him. He motioned to John, and I think he probably did that in a discreet kind of way to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking, which again is kind of interesting, right, because Peter is usually not shy about speaking up. I want I wonder why he didn't just ask Jesus himself, why he didn't just shouted across the table. Maybe, as we saw last time, he's already opened his mouth once this night and made a fool of himself. It's not the last time he'll do it this night. We'll see that again in a couple of weeks. But but beyond that, this is the kind of question that needs to be asked subtly. And John was the closest man to Jesus verse. So that disciple John Referring to himself again leaning back against Jesus, that tells us he was right next to him. said to him, I imagine, whispered to him. Lord, who is it? Jesus answered. It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it. So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon is scariot again. This is unbelievable. You, you really have to understand this for what it is. As I said already, for Three Years Judas has faked his loyalty to Jesus and again. Just think of the hypocrisy that has already taken place in the upper room, just this night, when he allowed Jesus to wash his feet, knowing what he was going to do. The other gospels tell us that when Jesus said one of you will betray me, all the disciples said, surely not I. and Matthew is even more specific. He records that Judas himself asked, is it I? Rabbi? There's been hypocrisy already, but this right here in verse six, this is the pinnacle of his hypocrisy, I think, even more than the kiss in the garden of Gethsemane, because the fact is in this culture, at a meal like this, the host would sometimes take a piece of bread, dip it into a savory sauce and then place that bread in the mouth of the guest of honor. That seems really weird to us. I wouldn't recommend doing that at your next party, but in this culture this act communicated friendship, love, in some context, even forgiveness, which means, I think, going back to our picture of this table, we can be reasonably sure that if that layout is right, where Judas was seated on the other side of Jesus, in the place that would be reserved at a table like this for the guest of honor, so that, just as John could lean back and speak to Jesus, Jesus could lean back and offer bread to Judas. But the thing is, Judas knew that Jesus giving him bread in this way. It was an act of love, it was an act of honor. And instead it becomes this, the decisive moment of judgment. Knowing what he was about to do, Judas should have never accepted that bread, but instead he received it. He took the bread and rejected the love and forgiveness that it signified. He takes it and he eats it.

It is a stunning and despicable display of hypocrisy. And then verse is frightening, isn't it? Then, after he had taken the Morsel, the ideas, after he had received and eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Satan entered into him. It's it's one thing to be influenced by a demonic being. It's another thing to be possessed by a demonic being. It's yet an entirely different category to be possessed by Satan himself. And by the way, though, this is not the point. Just let me assure you that Christians cannot be possessed by demons or Satan. So you don't need to fear that, m but as far as I can tell, this is the only place in scripture where it says that Satan, the Prince of darkness, personally invaded a human being. I don't know. Maybe he thinks normally he's too important to be personally down in the mix being occupied with those kinds of things. But in this case I think the significance of the crime that was about to take place was so important that he this was something he could not delegate to some underling. He needed to take care of this himself. And yet the very next line is the greatest, I think, in the whole passage. Jesus said to him, what you are going to do, do quickly now. Thank with me here the Jewish leaders. They had already been plotting the death of Jesus for at least two years, we know from earlier in John's Gospel. And in fact they, along with Judas, they had decided to wait until after the Passover festival to even arrest Jesus. Why? Well, remember the big parade on Palm Sunday, just a few days before this event, hundreds and thousands of people lining up in the streets of Jerusalem proclaiming Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. The SANHEDRIN weren't dumb to make a play against Jesus in this environment when he's got the popular support of the people. That would not be a very wise move. So they decide will wait till after the feast is over and the pilgrims go back home and we can take care of this nice and quiet. That was the timing of the SANHEDRIN. That was the timing of Judas. That was not God's timing. God had decided that the lamb of God was to be slain on the Passover in the ultimate fulfillment of the sacrifice that had been instituted in the days of Moses, and the Passover sacrifice was to take place the next day. And so don't miss what's happening here. What we have is the Lord of Glory issuing a command to a person who is inhabited by Satan, who is, after all, just another creature who must obey his creator. Do you see it here? Not only did Jesus utilize the hypocrisy of Judas for his own glory, but Jesus also controlled the hypocrisy of Judas for his own purpose, for his own timing. He controls all things for his own purpose. I hope you understand that, that that any evil that takes place in this world only occurs within God's sovereign decree. Satan is, as Luther said, after all, God's Satan. He's on a chain, he's only allowed to operate within the limits that the Creator has set for him. We see that so clearly illustrated in the book of job that we sank from this morning. Right and right here, the Lord Jesus Christ speaks to Judas, who's possessed by Satan, and he issues him a present, imperative command. Do it now. Is the force of what's being said there, and Satan has no choice but to obey the Lord of all creation. That great drama is playing out. But another thing I find interesting here that that is playing out before an audience that is largely ignorant of it. Look at verse now. No one at the table knew why he said this to him. Again, they have no idea what's happening behind the scenes. Some thought that be because Judas had the money bag. Jesus was telling him by...

...what we need for the feast. It was an eight day feast after all, and so maybe they needed more supplies or that he should give something to the poor. There's very common during the past over these acts of generosity and benevolence. Verse Thirty. So after receiving the Morsel of bread, he immediately went out in obedience to Jesus's command. And it was night. Let me let me tell you something. That is not just a chronological statement. That is a theological statement. John Loves to use words with double meanings, and he does it right here. When Judas left that upper room, the full moon of the pastover outside was shining brightly in the sky, yet Judas himself was swallowed up in darkness. This was a journey he had set out on at least three years earlier, and now he had finally arrived. Someone has written it this way still, as of old man by himself is Christ. For Thirty Pieces, Judas sold himself, not Christ, and it was night. Now let's try to bring this home. It can be a little bit tricky finding application to our lives when we're looking at a historical narrative like this, but as Christians we always have to ask the question when we are reading our bibles. So what? What now? The spirit of God has preserved this text for us. All, I'm sure, is breathed out by God and profitable for us. So what do we glean then, practically from this text? And so, very briefly, there are just three things I'd like us to see from this text by way of application. Number One, this shows that it is possible to get extremely close to Jesus Christ without actually being transformed by him. It's possible for you to get very close to Jesus Christ without actually being transformed by him, and so you must be careful and have your guard up so that you do not confuse attending church or giving generously or being involved in ministry activities, that you don't confuse those things with salvation. And if I could just speak direct lead to the younger people in the room, for a moment, young people in kids, if you give me your attention for a second, I want you to know that those of you who have parents who love Jesus, who know Jesus, especially, maybe those of you who are here at the Church building almost every time that the doors are unlocked, you have to know that the faith of your parents is not what saves you. Being involved with church life is not what saves you, Young People Children, what saves you is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. You have to personally receive what Jesus Christ has done for you. It cannot rest on your family, it cannot rest on your activity, and you can get very confused on this because it can look like you're acting like a Christian even though you've never actually become one. You must receive what Jesus has done for you yourself. So that's our first point. That Judas reminds us just how close you can get to Jesus without actually being transformed by him. Number two. This shows us that false followers of Jesus exist right alongside true followers of Jesus. Now, somehow, I think a lot of times we just don't actually believe this, or we think that this isn't going to apply to us. But scripture is very clear. It warns US repeatedly that there will be people who come into the Church for the express purpose of destroying God's people. Scripture resumes this will happen, and if you think that you can't be...

...fooled, then you're foolish. The disciples were fooled. It's not beyond you or me to be fooled either. The reality is there are false teachers who seek to do nothing but harm God's people, and if you've not experienced that yet, then praise God for preserving and protecting you from that experience. But the longer you are a Christian, the greater the likelihood you will come across this at some point. So be aware. False believers grow up right alongside true believers. And thirdly, back to kind of our big idea, this shows us that hypocrisy never escapes the detection of God. Never you might be able to fool every single person you encounter in your life, but you will not fool God. God will not be mocked. He knows of every hypocrisy and not only that, as we've seen, he utilizes and controls every hypocrisy for his own glory and for his purposes, and understand this too. In the life and Ministry of Jesus Christ we learn that in no uncertain terms, God's anger is most readily expressed against the sin of hypocrisy. Jesus often has one word reserved for the religious hypocrites of his day. It is woe. It is a word of condemnation. And so, as we close this morning, I ask you, from the outside friend, take a moment to examine yourselves. Do you appear to be as close to the Lord Jesus Christ as you could posibly get this morning, but in reality you've yet to be transformed by him? If that describes you, repent of that facade. Turn from merely going through religious motions turned towards Jesus, stop leading a double life and cry out for Jesus to save you fully. And finally, for closing prayer, I'm going to read a prayer from the value of vision. It's entitled the dark guest. Let's pray this together. Oh Lord, bend my hands and cut them off, for I have often struck thee with a wayward will. When these fingers should embrace thee by faith. I am not yet weaned from all created glory, honor, wisdom and esteem of others, where I have a secret motive to eye my name in all I do. Let me not only speak the word sin, but see the thing itself. Give me to view a discovered sinfulness, to know that though my sins are crucified, they are never wholly mortified. Hatred, malice, ill will, vain, glory that hungers for and hunts after man's approval and applause, All are crucified, forgiven, but they rise again in my sinful heart. Oh my crucified but never wholly mortified sinfulness. Oh my lifelong damage and daily shame. Oh my in dwelling and besetting sins, oh the tormenting slavery of a sinful heart, destroy God, the dark guest within whose hidden presence makes my life a hell. Yet thou hast not left me here without grace. The Cross still stands and meets my needs in the deepest straits of the soul. I thank thee that my remembrance of it is like David's site of Goliath Sword, which preached forth thy Deliverance. The memory of my great sins, my many temptations, my falls, bring a fresh into my mind the remembrance of thy Great Help, of THY support from Heaven, of the Great Grace that saved such a wretch as I am. There is no treasure so wonderful as that continuous experience of thy grace towards me, which alone can subdue the risings of sin within. Give me more of it. Amen.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (120)