Having just come face to face with the hypocrisy of some Pharisees, Jesus has a lesson for his disciples. “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops”(Luke 12:1-3).
Read those words again carefully. Obviously Jesus is saying that hypocrisy will be exposed. But he promises far more than that. Jesus asserts that no secret will stay secret. Everything men work to hide will be exposed.
What if there were no secrets? There would be no national security intrigue—no nuclear or intelligence secrets. Crimes would be prosecuted far differently, since guilt would be apparent. Sporting events would go far differently since both teams’ game plans would be known. But most of all, relationships would be affected. How many marriages would fall apart if mates knew one another’s secrets? How many friendships would be damaged? How many families upended?
Jesus promises that this is exactly what will happen. “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.” He is exposing the fact that we prefer to build our lives and relationships by hiding part of ourselves from others. He assures us that such secrets—and the advantages we gain from them—are temporary. Such things usually come to light eventually in a physical sense—but Jesus is telling us that they surely will at the last day.
So what is the point of this saying? Jesus wants his disciples to live so that when our secrets are exposed, they are consistent with what we have claimed to be. How does your life fare by that standard?