Sunday, October 18
Matthew 22: 15-21
Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? (Matthew 22:18)
These Pharisees and Herodians thought they had come up with a foolproof plan to ensnare Jesus.
If he said it was lawful to pay the census tax, the people would turn against Him since they hated the tax. If He said it was not lawful, he would be in trouble with the Roman authorities, In order to look sincere, they prefaced their question by flattering Jesus. But Jesus saw right through their plan and called them on it.
Clearly, hypocrisy was something that angered Jesus. In a series of “woes,” He called the religious leaders who opposed Him hypocrites for not following the very precepts they were teaching (Matthew 23:13-29). And in His Sermon on the Mount, He warns people not to pray or fast like “the hypocrites” who do it just to look good in front of others (6:5,16).
The word “hypocrisy” comes from the Greek word hypokrisis, which means acting on a stage. When we are hypocritical, we are putting on an act, saying one thing and then doing the opposite. But when our actions betray our words, we have to ask ourselves if we really believe what we say we do.
We are all susceptible to hypocrisy – it’s one of those unfortunate consequences of our fallen human nature. For example, we might lecture our children about not spending too much time on their screens and then spend hours and hours watching TV Or we may claim that we are a team player at work but then create division by criticizing a fellow coworker.
It can be a painful process to search our consciences and discover ways in which our actions aren’t lining up with our beliefs. But the Lord understands our struggles and will forgive us and help us to change. Best of all, the more we are able to authentically live out our Christian beliefs, the more we can become living witnesses to Jesus – and the kingdom He has ushered in.
“Jesus, help me to act on what I say I believe.”
Isaiah 45:1, 4-6
1 Thessalonians 1:1-5
Daily Reflections from “The Word Among Us”
Recorded music remains the property of the Artists/Writers.
No ownership is implied
Open the Eyes of my Heart – Oslo Gospel Choir
I Surrender All – Oslo Gospel Choir
Take Our Bread
Simchat Torah – Malchus Choir