Hypocrisy Exposed Matt 23:25-28 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Hypocrisy is an attempt by an individual or a group of individuals to portray himself or themselves as something that he or they are not. Hypocrisy is effective because men judge based on the outward appearance and not on the heart. So, if men can project an acceptable image and others are inclined to accept this image at “face value” then they can get away with their hypocrisy.
If others begin to suspect that there is something very different behind the face of a hypocrite, the hypocrite can use fear and intimidation to keep the wary viewers from looking behind his image to see if their suspicions are right. The hypocrite can also lie, transfer blame and threaten others to protect himself from discovery.
Today we are going to study hypocrisy in the Pharisees for two reasons. First, if you are a hypocrite, you must know that you aren’t fooling God and you need to be sure that your sin will find you out. Second, if you aren’t a hypocrite, but you are being fooled by a hypocrite, you must be able to discern his hypocrisy and understand his true nature so that he doesn’t hurt or destroy you.
Hypocrites are attractive on the outside – Matt 23:25-28 – they put a great deal of effort into their outward appearance. If they are religious hypocrites, they are clean looking and well dressed [Matt 23:5], they do good works [Matt 23:5], they have dignified titles [Matt 23:7], they sit prominently [Matt 23:2, 6], and they are particularly good orators [Rom 16:18].
Hypocrites are wicked on the inside – Matt 23:25-28 – they are full of extortion [that is they misuse their authority to get money], excess, uncleanness, hypocrisy, and iniquity, they are thieves [Matt 21:13], they are liars [Jn 7:19-20, 25, 45], and they are murderers [Matt 23:35].
Hypocrites resort to wicked means to maintain their hypocrisy – they use fear [Jn 9:22], excommunication [Jn 9:34], name-calling [Mk 3:22], intimidation [Jn 7:47-53], misinformation [Jn 7:52], lies [Acts 24:5-7] and myriad other means to keep you from exposing their hypocrisy and to keep you under their control.
Hypocrites can only keep up the lie so long before they are caught – John the Baptist never was fooled by them [Matt 3:7-12], the blind man knew that he had no more reason to fear the Pharisees [Jn 9:30-34] he could “see” through their hypocrisy, Pilate knew that the Pharisees’ motive for killing Jesus was envy [Matt 27:18]. You can see through their hypocrisy if you refuse to be intimidated by them and if you are not afraid to stand up to them [Acts 4:19-20]. Eventually, they wind up in hell [Matt 23:33].
Conclusion: If you are a hypocrite, in the end, you are just fooling yourself so you might as well give up and be who you really are. In doing so, you have the best opportunity to humble yourself and get right with God. If you are being intimidated by a hypocrite, quit worrying and start trusting God. They’ll destroy you; the Lord will protect you and take care of you.