Beware of Hypocrisy
12 In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another,
He (Jesus) began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
(The Pharisees are religious Jews. They are famous for their physical observations of their religious traditions, rules and regulations, including ritualistic practices. How to know who are the Pharisees today? Know them by their fruit.
The Lord Jesus has warned against blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and stated that a tree is recognized by its (Matt.12:31-33) when the Pharisees questioned and slandered the work of the Holy Spirit.).
2 For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.
(Jesus further warned the disciples that although the religious leaders appeared godly and purported to be defender of their religion externally, making a lot of observations, analysis and criticism on Jesus' teaching and lifestyle, insinuating that He was in error, even to the point of accusing His supernatural power having come from Satan himself. But they themselves were in fact the real descendants of the devil. They lived in darkness and spoke from the dark realm. However, the light of God will expose them).
Jesus Teaches the Fear of God4 “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!
(Jesus teaches that His followers should fear God and not fear men or the devil behind men. Only God can have the power to cast men into hell, which He has reserved for the devil.)
6 “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins?[a] And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
(Jesus has assured His followers that they are valuable to God and God will take care of them, body, soul and spirit).
Confess Christ Before Men8 “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. 9 But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.
10 “And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.
(The Pharisees have challenged the divine authority of Jesus. They did not believe that He is the Son of God. They even condemned the works of the Holy Spirit! Only by willingness to listen to the Gospel, receiving the Holy Spirit's conviction of sins, repenting, believing in Jesus' blood bought redemption on the cross, being thus born again by the Holy Spirit through incorruptible seed (the word of God 1 Peter1:23), will one be saved from eternal damnation. Believing in the full Gospel message means believing in the reality of God, Who is Spirit).
11 “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. 12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
Summary for watchman:Beware of purported religious teaching from men. Read the word of God, the Bible yourself. Abide in Christ and let the word of God abide in you. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you. Obey. Practice. Watch the fruit. Are they fruit that the Lord wants? Fruit that remains? (John 15:7, 16)