SCRIPTURE: Luke 12:1-3, NLT
I would feel more comfortable if this verse and others like it were not in the bible. It is a disconcerting verse to me personally.
- By disconcerting, I mean this verse makes me worry and wonder. Will all my thoughts, words, and deeds be played back before me and a watching world or believing church on the day of judgment?
- I have not only done a lot of dumb, stupid, sorry, low down things, I continue to say and do things that I should not. I don’t even want last week played back, let alone my entire life.
- Lets face it, we all have a secret life and according to Jesus, we have no right to privacy. He is going to hold us accountable for every impure thought, every unkind word and every devilish deed.
- I cannot get excited about my secret life being made public. What about you? Do you have anything in your life or past in which you are ashamed? So, this is a jolting verse, a sobering thought.
It is not an isolated thought or principle, it is taught in Old and New Testament and repeated again and again.
- Eccl. 12:14–God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.
- Luke 8:17–“For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.”
- Matt. 10:26–“But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.”
- Mark 4:22–“For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light.”
- Romans 2:16–And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.
- 1 Cor. 4:5–So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.
- 2 Cor. 5:10–For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.
How do we explain this verse or How do we reconcile it with the doctrine of GRACE?
- Is it a bad translation? No, same message in all translations. Luke 12:2, KJV–For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. I have checked every English translation available and they all state the same exact principle.
- Is it in the original manuscripts? Yes, Jesus actually said this. It is not something that a Scribe inserted later.
- There is no cut and dried explanation of this verse. It is one of those verses that remains a mystery. I do not believe, actually, I know that we humans with a finite mind cannot reconcile everything that is taught in the bible which was inspired by the Infinite.
- In all my research and study, the only explanation that has ever given me any satisfaction is the idea proposed by C. S. Lewis in the GREAT DIVORCE. Lewis views this judgment before Christ as a BAPTISM OF SHAME were we for a moment are immersed in the shame of our earthy conduct and totally humiliated before God and man. This baptism of shame has nothing to do with the forgiveness of our sins, that has already been taken care of by Christ. It is merely an initiation rite for heaven. I think Lewis is on to something. We know that there will be no pride in heaven. This baptism of shame would be our final act of cleansing. After are evil deeds are made public, we will have no strut in us, none. We will crawl into heaven on our face. We will be like the woman caught in adultery, we will not look up until Jesus touches us on the shoulder and speaks gently to us. I don’t look forward to this baptism, but I see its necessity. It will be a refining fire that will purge us from all pride which is the very thing that got Satan kicked out. We must keep in mind, our security is not in the heaven the place but Christ the person. The devil was in heaven but he got expelled because of pride. I am glad that God will not allow our pride into heaven: if would not be a safe and secure place if pride were there.
This verse or verses– Everything that is hidden will be shown, and everything that is secret will be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in an inner room will be shouted from the housetops.” [Luke 12:2-3] do not nullify grace, they substantiate the need for Grace. In light of our sin and evil, we must have grace.
The warning Jesus gives is about hypocrisy…“Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, because they are hypocrites.” The Pharisees were play actors, pretenders. The word hypocrite means to act, to play a part, to dissimulate, to deceive, to impersonate. The word was used in reference to actor on the stage. We have the same thing in today’s culture. Remember Sylvester Stallone in FIRST BLOOD where he played John Rambow, Vietnam vet. Stallone was a draft dodger who fled to Canada during the Vietnam war.
What if the movie people had shown a 30 minute documentary on Stallone’s real life prior to the movie, how well would that have gone over? Do you think any real Vietnam vets would have watched or their families. To a child or someone who is ignorant of Hollywood’s hypocrisy, Stallone would be very convincing as a real Vietnam vet. So the warning given here by Jesus is to be as REAL as possible. When was the last time you told some one how sorry you really are? I know, you can’t give details without hurting others but just as a reminder, you can confess that you deserve death and hell. You don’t dare name the women, but you can confess lust or you can pretend to be pure and holy. This is the point: for all pretenders, let it be known, “The truth will come out.”
The BOTTOM LINE: Jesus doesn’t want us to be pretentious period. Stop pretending to be better than you actually are and begin working on being real. Really, your play acting is in vain and the longer you pretend, the more your stock goes down. We are not prefect and we should pretend that we are. In time, actually eternity, Jesus will make us perfect and a part of that process will be our baptism of shame.