Posts from June 2019

Hypocrites: An Obstacle to Others

Matthew 23:13 We need to begin by defining some terms used in today’s text. Consider the word, “Pharisees.” Do not stereotype every Pharisee as being “a person who misrepresented God.” Even Jewish society recognized there were distinctions to be made among the Pharisees. Not all Pharisees held identical views. What was generally true of the Pharisees as a group might not be true of an individual Pharisee. Remember Nicodemus, the person who had a private talk with Jesus in John…

Hypocrites: The Principle of Service

Matthew 23:1-12 A key element in understanding God’s will for His people is found in the role of service. The man or woman who belongs to God is a servant. Jesus repeatedly stressed this in numerous situations. Consider some examples. In Matthew 20:20-28 James and John’s mother asked Jesus to enthrone her sons on his right and left hand in his kingdom. Jesus responded to her by saying, “You do not understand what you are asking,” and to James and…

“Woe to You, Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites!”

Matthew 23 It is important to note that Jesus spoke Matthew 23 during the last week of his life. The Teacher spent much of his ministry appealing to the Pharisees in terms meaningful to their perspective. As Jesus’ death approached, nothing changed in the Pharisees’ perspective. Usually it was the Pharisees who tried to confront Jesus either by direct or indirect remarks. For example, they criticized Jesus to his disciples for eating with tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 9:11). They…

Hypocrisy: A Different Definition

Isaiah 29:13 Matthew 15:7-9 Give the typical definition of a hypocrite. (Please be prepared to share that definition/concept with the class.) Today, typically, a hypocrite is a person who indulges in or practices hypocrisy. To engage in hypocrisy is to engage in pretense. It is a pretending designed to deceive. The person gives the appearance of being something he/she is not. The 21st century concept and definition of hypocrisy is illustrated by the capable con man or con woman. He/she…