Posts from August 2019

Hypocrisy: Declaring good to be bad

Luke 13:10-17 A major conflict between Jesus and Israel’s leaders focused on his “violation” of Sabbath rules and regulations every devout Israelite was expected to honor. In the Ten Commandments God gave Israel at Sinai [shortly after Israel was delivered from Egypt], God instructed Israel to keep the Sabbath [Saturday] holy. They were to keep the Sabbath holy by doing no work on that day. The command was specific: “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but…

Hypocrisy: Distorted Priorities

Mark 12:13-17 Decade’s ago, in the period of the writer’s early life as minister, he had “imaginary conversations.” Mentally he would place himself in specific circumstances. Usually those circumstances revolved around someone who disagreed with a conclusion he reached or a conviction he held. He would imagine a hostile confrontation with an imaginary antagonist. In that confrontation, his mind’s “ear” would hear charges or accusations. Then he would consider how he would react to the charge. Commonly, he would search…

Hypocrisy: Wake up! Open your eyes!

Luke 12:54-57 People can be extremely observant and incredibly blind at the same moment! The manner in which humans can be extremely sensitive to their environment and incredible clueless about eternal realities at the same moment can be frustrating in the extreme. All of us can have acute awareness of matters of [at most] limited significance while being completely oblivious to matters of eternal significance. This quirk in human sensitivity profoundly frustrated Jesus. He said, “You people can predict weather…

Hypocrisy: The horror of the Pharisees’ mistakes

Matthew 23:29-36 Rather than a verse by verse analysis, this lesson seeks to focus attention on a problem of the scribes and Pharisees that deeply offended God. The problem was deeply rooted in Israel’s history and in the scribes and Pharisees’ self-concept. Israel had hundreds of years of history in rebelling against God. Though the scribes and Pharisees devoutly believed they were God’s people, they were in fact continuing Israel’s history of rebellion. Israel’s history of rebellion began be-fore they…