Luke 12:1-5

Luke 12:1 (KJB)
In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

In Luke 11, Jesus had directly addressed the Pharisees and scribes but here in this chapter, he continues His rebuke but this time He is addressing His disciples as He warns them about the leaven of the Pharisees. He describes the leaven of the Pharisees as hypocrisy. The word “hypocrisy” comes from the Greek word “hupokrisis” which means “pretense, insincerity, and of course, hypocrisy.” A hypocrite is one who pretends to be something they are not. It is a person who is play acting. Jesus turning to His disciples were no doubt in ear shot of the crowds that had assembled to hear Him plus the Pharisees were still in the vicinity. A Christian who is a hypocrite will ruin the reputation of the majority who are not. The world will lump us all together when they see someone who claims to be a Christian and then does the opposite of what they should be doing. This is why Jesus called the scribes and Pharisees hypocrites because their outward presentation was one of being very holy and totally dedicated to the work of God but their inward lives were nothing but total opposite as all they concerned themselves with their positions, wealth, and social status, and could care less about the things of the Lord. Jesus was warning His disciples to make sure they never adapt that mindset.

Luke 12:2 (KJB)
For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.

Jesus is encouraging the disciples that they should not fear those who will persecute them but they are to continue doing ministry as long as possible. There is going to come a time when all the things they are preaching about will come to pass openly and will be revealed to the entire world. What is hidden now will be made known to all. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ was one of those events where hundreds had seen Him after He arose. The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost which started the evangelism of the world at Jerusalem. Jesus raised the dead, healed the sick, fed the hungry crowds, calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee, and many other things which would be made known, but the greatest thing that would be made known would be that salvation would come through the Lord Jesus Christ and not the keeping of the law. Just a secondary look at this verse, the disciples need not fear the Pharisees because whatever they are planning in secret will be revealed. (Isa 29:15 KJV) Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?

Luke 12:3 (KJB)
Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.

During the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus, much of His teaching was done in private with the disciples or in discussion mode. What they learned in these lessons were no longer going to be kept secret or quiet. Soon those lessons would be proclaimed to the whole world and whatever they learned from Jesus was not to be kept to themselves but soon they would begin to reveal those teachings to the world. Jesus uses the examples of hearing something in the dark and then proclaiming it in the light and using the housetops to proclaim. From the housetops, you could bellow forth the Gospel to all in the streets. Today the housetops would be the streets, a stadium, an auditorium, television, radio, internet, and many other places where the greatest amount of people can hear.

Luke 12:4 (KJB)
And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.

Jesus then returns to the subject of persecution and tells His disciples that they need to refocus their fear. He tells them not to fear men because all they can do is kill the physical body and once that occurs, they can do no more. Man is actually severely limited in their persecution because if they kill a Christian, they are only changing their residence from earth to Heaven.

Luke 12:5 (KJB)
But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

Jesus then tells them that they are not to fear men but they need to fear God because He has the ability to destroy both body and soul in hell. I have heard this verse used as a proof text for annihilation. This is very erroneous because annihilation is not taught in Scripture. What is in view here is that the unbeliever needs to fear God who is the one that can sentence them to eternal damnation thus eternally destroying them. The word “destroy” in the Greek has absolutely no references to annihilation.