"No More Hypocrites, Please!"
Intro: We all have many traditions that we keep. We bow our heads and close our eyes when we pray. It’s not the only way to pray. The Bible gives many examples of prayer. Yet, we think this is the only way to pray.
*If you don’t pray before meals, you’ll get indigiestion
*Bad things will happen to you if you don’t . . . read Bible, pray, come to church [Janell]
*doxology after offering
*invocation at start of service: Mt. P - after first song - board mtg to put it back
*people saved in an altar call - wait till Sunday
*communion: right way is way we were raised doing it
Jesus teaches us much about tradition and hypocrisy here in Matthew 15.
The Jewish leaders came a long way to criticize Jesus’ disciples. About 70 miles. Jesus answers their question about tradition with rebuke for their disregard of God’s commands. It’s easy to put traditions on the same level as God’s truth.
I. Evaluate Tradition to See What Place it Holds.
*Don’t worship tradition: Let it guide you in your worship of God 1-7
The Pharisees placed their tradition in such a high place that it superceded the commands of God. They disobeyed God to uphold their tradition. Rather they should have looked at their tradition in how it matched God’s word and law.
We do many foolish things for tradition. Where did we ever get the idea of a bachelor party? The night before you make vows of commitment to one woman for life you are supposed to be able to enjoy all the fleshly sexual pleasures of the world??? That’s not godly!
How about April Fool’s Day-- we are supposed to tell any lie that we want, just because it is April first??? What happened to always being truthful!
The Pharisees taught that one could give from his wealth to the temple. And if he did it, then he would not need to support his parents, because he had given God what could have been used to support his parents.
**Hans - parents give Christmas gifts: tell what charity they donated to
--because I love you, I’m not going to help you, I’m helping someone else!
This was simply evidence of their disregard for the commands of God. No matter if it is something that seems good, if it is disregarding God’s word, it is wrong to do. Even if it is tradition.
*My family: after dinner, into living room, mom cleaned up
*Our family: I help Ronda and we work together
II. True Worship comes from the Heart, not the Lips 8-14
Jesus applies the words of Isaiah to the Jews as he calls them hypocrites.
These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain.
God is not interested in just the worship of our lips. He doesn’t care how many songs we sing or how much money we give. Now I like to hear you sing, and I love to see you give. But God is not impressed with the actions, the rituals you perform. He looks on your heart.
I’m glad you’re here today. But maybe God isn’t. Maybe you’re here with bitter thoughts in your heart. Maybe you don’t want to be here. You can smile and sound pious, but God sees what you really are like. He knows what you feel and think.
*Remember the story of the widow’s mite - she had given more than all, because she gave all that she had. How will you worship the Lord today? It starts with a clean, pure heart. Until you desire to worship God in your heart, it will not matter what actions you do: none will be pleasing to God. How is your heart this morning?
III. Don’t be as concerned about conformity to regulations as to attitudes of the heart 15-20
Jesus points out that it is the internal things in our hearts that will excuse or condemn us. He lists several areas we need to check:
*evil thoughts: who hasn’t offended in this area. If any of us would know what any other of us thought at the worst times, we would never talk to one another. How is your thought life? Any problem with Lust? Pride? Greed? Covetousness? Anger? Vengeance? Desires?
*murder: who is it that you hate? Jesus said it is as though you have murdered them. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he! Whatever you wish you could do to your boss, or that driver who darted into your parking space, or the guy who spill juice on your new outfit: you’ve done it!
*adultery: Whose partner do you wish you had? What about that person of the opposite sex at work, at church, at the store, in the neighborhood. It’s just an innocent friendship, but oh how you dream of what it could be! You’ve already committed adultery in your heart. You say, but I’m faithful to my spouse, it could never happen. If you dwell upon it in your mind, you will eventually end up doing it in your body.