The Radical Nature of Following Christ
In Luke 12:1, our Lord Jesus is instructing His disciples to watch out for few things. First of all, He calls His disciples’ attention to the hypocrisy of the Pharisees.
Secondly, He compares their hypocrisy to that of the yeast. And why yeast? Yeast is a baking material. A small amount of it can cause a small dough of flour to rise up to several times its original size.
In the Bible yeast is almost always a symbol of evil (cf. 1 Cor 5:6-7). This is why Jesus told His disciples to be on their guard against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. They seemed to be zealous and godly but deep within they were burning with pride, greed, and envy.
Some of them seemed to be following Christ. However, their real intention was to trap Him and to involve Him in controversy for the purpose of killing Him and persecuting His followers.
Christ was a threat to their cause. This explains why, for example, Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee, was so zealous in persecuting the church.
Saul, who later became Paul, wanted to silence the followers of Christ who proclaimed Him as Israel's Messiah, the One who suffered and died for the sins of God's people and rose again from the dead according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-4; cf. Isa. 53).
The threat and murderous intent of some religious leaders - Pharisees and Sadducees - were something scary for the disciples of Christ! But Jesus has forewarned them of the coming persecution.
The Lord Jesus also told His disciples not to be afraid for God the Holy Spirit will teach them what to say before their persecutors (Luke 12:11-12). Trusting and remaining faithful to Him was all they needed to do.
There is a real danger in following Christ wholeheartedly. This makes Christianity a radical religion. If you follow Christ you must consider yourself dead in Him. If you want to stand for God's truth and live for the sake of the gospel you will be persecuted.
Following Christ costs your life. Remember Stephen? Remember Polycarp? Remember John Wycliffe and John Hus? Remember Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley? Remember Guido de Bres and many others who testified and stood for Christ and the Christian faith? They professed and lived out their faith in Christ until they suffered martyrdom in the hands of their persecutors.
Remember our Lord Jesus Himself. He suffered the greatest injustice ever committed by man for the truth of the gospel. He, the sinless Son of God, was falsely accused and unjustly condemned as a worse criminal.
Are you willing to suffer the same for the sake of our Lord and Savior and for His gospel? Are you willing to confess with the apostle Paul: "Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory" (2 Tim. 2:10)?
Posted with permission from Ptr Vic Bernales, Pastor, Davao Covenant Reformed Church
Original from a Facebook post here.