Faith Daily | 14 October 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p591
in your wisdom you have so ordered our earthly life
that we must walk by faith and not by sight:
give us such trust in your fatherly care
that in the face of all perplexities
we may give proof of our faith by the courage of our lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 12: 1-7
Meanwhile, when the crowd gathered in thousands, so that they trampled on one another, he began to speak first to his disciples, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, that is, their hypocrisy. 2Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 3Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed from the housetops.
4 ‘I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. 5But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority* to cast into hell.* Yes, I tell you, fear him! 6Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. 7But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Rev’d David
Can there be a more scathing condemnation than Jesus’ words to the religious leaders, leading into the passage before us today? “You remove the key to knowledge from the people. You don’t enter the Kingdom yourselves, and you prevent others from entering” (Luke 11:52 NLT).
As thousands of people crowded around Jesus, He turned away from them and the religious leaders, but in their hearing, He spoke directly to the disciples. Three messages invite our attention from what He said.
The first was His warning against hypocrisy which He called “the yeast of the Pharisees” (Luke 12:1) Its messages, as Jesus said “remove the key to knowledge from the people”, by distorting and changing the truth of God’s Word to suit their own message. It is a yeast which infects the whole character of Godly living. Our Lord warns to beware of this yeast.
One of the great Anglican Bishops and scholars, J C Ryle, put it like this “If we would not become Pharisees, let us cultivate a 'heart religion'. Let us realize daily that the God with whom we have to do, looks far below the outward surface of our profession, and that He measures us by the state of our hearts. Let us be real and true in our Christianity.”
Then Jesus says, “Dear Friends” don’t allow fear of those who ridicule your faithfulness in following me, to distract you, even if they threaten your life. Rather, in reverent fear, keep your eyes on the God who determines eternal destiny.
The last message speaks to the persecution that will come to those who faithfully follow Jesus, and will not compromise the truth of God’s Word.
Here Jesus reminds us of God’s fatherly care, “..not one sparrow is forgotten” (verse 6) and how wonderful is the promise “the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (verse 7). There is no such thing as “chance” in the Christian’s life journey, all that comes is known to the Lord, is under His care, and works for the Christian’s good (Romans 8:28).
“Reverent fear of God is the key to faithfulness in any situation”. (Alan Redpath)
Loving God, give us faithful hearts to honour and serve you in all we do, so that the world will see that we are followers of Jesus, and through that witness be drawn to Him. Keep us from hypocrisy, faithless fears and worldly anxieties, and enable us to grow strong in our trust in your fatherly care. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.