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Issue Features
Discovery Magazine 12/1/1997

Clouds, Christ, and Hypocrites

by  Bert Thompson, Ph.D.

While He lived on the Earth, Jesus met many different types of people. Some were Jews, some were Gentiles. Some were rich, some were poor. Some were well educated, some were not. However, Jesus was not interested in whether people were rich or poor, or whether they had lots of education or very little. Instead, He was interested in their souls. He spent His whole life trying to teach people about God, and about how to go to heaven.

Some of those to whom Christ spoke listened carefully. When they realized that He was God’s Son, and that He was teaching them the truth, they quickly obeyed Him. They wanted to do everything God said to do, in exactly the way that God said to do it, so that one day they could live with Him forever.

But some of those to whom Christ spoke did not like the things He taught, or the commands He brought from God, His Father. They thought they were too smart to need Jesus to teach them anything, and that they could do whatever they wanted. The Bible records a story about Christ talking to such people on one occasion.

“Then He also said to the multitudes, Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, A shower is coming; and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, There will be hot weather; and there is. Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?” (Luke 12:54-56).

Jesus called these folks hypocrites. Hypocrites are people who are not genuine in the things they say or do. They might say one thing one day, and then exactly the opposite the next. Or they might act one way on a certain occasion, and then act exactly the opposite on another.

When Jesus spoke these words to the people of His day, He was trying to get them to see that they were worldly wise, but spiritually ignorant. They were smart enough to look at the clouds forming in the sky, and predict that it was going to rain. They were smart enough to see how the winds were blowing across the Earth, and predict blistering heat. Yet they were not smart enough to see the signs around them that proved Christ was God’s Son. And they were not smart enough to look at the miracles He did and believe Him when He told them what they needed to know to get to heaven. They were hypocrites because they acted one way on one occasion, but acted exactly the opposite on another. They looked at the signs that would help them predict the weather, but they refused to look at the signs that would help them get home to heaven.

Today, when we look at the sky and see the clouds God made, let us remember the message Christ gave to the people of His day. It is important to know the message of the clouds (for example, what they can tell us about weather patterns). But it also is important to know the message of Christ (for example, about how to get home to heaven). We should not want to be hypocrites like the people of Jesus’ day.



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