Jesus' View of Hypocrisy

March 07, 2019 0 Comments

Balance is important in our spiritual lives. Balance between saying and doing, preaching and practicing, belief and behavior. Hypocrisy is preaching one thing, but practicing another. And nothing stirred up the righteous anger of the Lord more than the hypocrisy He saw in the religious leaders of His day—the Pharisees. He saved His most scathing rebukes for them, and pointed out the ridiculous inconsistencies that so glaringly characterized them. In Matthew chapter 23, Jesus refers to the Pharisees as hypocrites 7 times (vs. 13, 14, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29). And what exactly were the Pharisees doing that prompted such stern condemnation from Christ? Here are a few of their inconsistencies:
•“They say, and do not do” (vs. 3).
•“They bind heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers” (vs. 4).
•“You pay tithe of mint, and anise, and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith” (vs. 23).
•“You strain at a gnat but swallow a camel” (vs. 24).
•“You clean the outside of the cup, but inside it is full of extortion and self-indulgence” (vs. 25).
•“You are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness” (vs. 27).
It is clear from these descriptions that the Pharisees were all about outward appearance. There was a huge disconnect between their professions and their practices; their public appearances and their private actions. They would stand on the street corners and make long prayers “to be seen of men” (see Matt. 6:5). Do you remember what God said to Samuel when it was time to find a new king over Israel? “Do not look at his appearance or his physical stature. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (I Sam. 16:7).
Jesus could see straight through the façade, the pretense, the hypocritical nonsense of the Pharisees. It seems that nothing grieves the heart of God more than those who preach one thing and practice another.
The left-wing liberals of our nation display so much hypocrisy, so many illogical inconsistencies, that it is hard to list them all. But I will mention a few of the more recent illustrations:
1.They preach a religion alerting everyone to the dangers of global warming, but they fly all over the place giving speeches in private jets. Hollywood liberals live in mansions so big that they use more electricity in one day than most people do in a year.
2.They preach a religion of protecting endangered species, and raise millions of dollars for those causes, yet they see nothing wrong with abortion—the inhumane killing of precious unborn babies. Is not human life more valuable than some animal? What unbelievable hypocrisy!
3.They preach a religion of compassion for the poor people of our society, how that we should share our wealth with them. Yet they constantly show disdain and outright elitist, snobbish, superiority toward the “deplorables”, the lower-class people living in Appalachia. Their idea of helping the poor is more government programs which only makes them dependent, condemned to a lifetime of welfare.
4.They support the border security policies of Democratic Presidents, but when a Republican President proposes the exact same thing, they stubbornly refuse to support those policies, desiring open borders and sanctuary cities which are in total violation of our immigration laws.
5.They are fine with showing I.D. at airports, grocery stores (to buy alcohol), banks, schools, etc., but think voter I.D. laws “disenfranchise” people from voting. The most important place of all to prove your identity would be at a polling station, otherwise we end up with millions of illegal votes being cast.
6.The liberal news media loves to report on school shootings because such tragedies, to them, serve to prove the need for more restrictive gun laws. But when some brave security guard (or military guy) stops a mass shooter because he had a gun, this news goes completely unreported. It doesn’t fit the narrative.
I’m certainly not saying that conservative Republicans are never guilty of double standards, as well. But any objective analyst would have to conclude that the liberal philosophy, in its entirety, is flawed with gross inconsistencies, and glaring contradictions.
Jesus was the model of perfect consistency. He always practiced what He preached. His life was a testimony to His teachings. May we strive to be like Him.

Richard Seefried
Harrisonburg, VA
Richard Seefried has a Master’s Degree in Christian Ministry, and is licensed & certified by the NCCA as a clinical pastoral counselor.