There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
I spend about half my weekends in Belfast, which is where Claire, my fiancée lives. When I’m there, I usually attend her church, Ballynafeigh Methodist. Yesterday was no exception. At this point, I’m afraid I have a confession to make. Claire and I were chatting whilst the notices were being given. Not a hanging offence I know, after all it wasn’t the sermon! But there’s a good reason why we would never dream of chatting during the sermon. Claire’s mum sings in the choir, and sits on a raised platform at the front of the church, and has a clear view over the whole congregation. During services, therefore, Claire’s mum sees everything that we do. We daren’t misbehave!
Of course, there are many people in the choir who can see what is going on in the church. As can God, who is omnipresent and all-seeing. Not just that, but as Jesus states in this passage from Luke, which follows on from Jesus’ warning about leaven (see yesterday’s Daily Reading), God is omniscient, which broadly means that he knows EVERYTHING. He sees us when we’re in the privacy of our own homes. He watches us when break the speed limit because we’re running late. But he also knows our inner thoughts. When we think ill of that person who has irritated us at work, he knows what we’re thinking. When we’re thinking uncharitable thoughts about the beggar in the street, he knows what we’re thinking.
Not only that, but Jesus warns of a coming judgement day, a time when all those actions and thoughts that we thought were hidden will made known. Jesus has already warned of the futility of empty faith, in which we simply follow the motions, without having any deep conviction (Mark 7:6). Here he tells us exactly why that is the case. We will be held accountable for ALL our thoughts, words, deeds and actions.
There’s a real incentive to purify our thoughts. Jesus has told us that it is not what goes into a person that makes them unclean, but what comes out of them (Mark 7:15). There is no hiding from God. He knows when we do good, but he also knows when we do bad. Let’s all try and think more positively, and treat others with the courtesy that we expect. If we all followed this path, the world would be a considerably better place.