Summary: Religious People Beware (Hypocrisy) – Sermon by Gordon Curley. PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Woe #1: For focussing on small matters while overlooking the big issues (vs 42).
Woe #2: For making it all about me (vs 43).
Woe #3: For deceiving others into becoming defiled (vs 44).
Woe #4: For adding to others guilt without assuming any themselves (vs 45-46)
Woe #5: For faking obedience while looking pious (vs 47)
Woe #6: For substituting works for faith (vs 52).
• In his historical book ‘The Three Edwards’ by Thomas Costain,
• He described the life of Raynald III,
• A fourteenth-century duke in what is now Belgium.
• Raynald III was grossly overweight,
• And was commonly called by his Latin nickname, Crassus, which means “fat.”
• After a violent quarrel,
• Raynald’s younger brother Edward led a successful revolt against him.
• Edward captured his brother Raynald but did not kill him.
• Instead, he built a room around Raynald in the Nieuwkerk castle;
• And promised him he could regain his title and property;
• As soon as he was able to leave the room.
• For us today that would have been no problem:
• Since the room had several windows and a normal sized door,
• And none of which was locked or barred.
• Question: So what was the problem stopping Raynald escaping?
• Answer: His size - to regain his freedom, he needed to lose weight.
• But Edward knew his older brother,
• And each day he sent him a variety of delicious foods.
• Instead of dieting his way out of prison,
• Raynald sadly grew fatter and fatter.
• Whenever Duke Edward was accused of cruelty,
• He had a quick answer:
• “My brother is not a prisoner. He may leave when he so wills.”
• But Raynald never left, he stayed in that room for ten years;
• And was only released after Edward died in battle.
• By then his health was so ruined that he died within a year.
• Raynald III was a prisoner of his own appetite.
• TRANSITION: The religious leaders of Jesus day (Pharisees & teachers of the law),
• Were also prisoners of their own appetites.
• For them food was not the problem but something far greater…
• They were prisoners of hypocrisy;
• That trait which is like an untreated cancer,
• It will slowly grow and will destroy the person who has it.
Quote: What is hypocrisy?
Answer: Hypocrisy is when you pretend to be what you don’t intend to be.
• The word "hypocrite" means "two-faced"
• We get the word from the Greek theatre where the ancient actors;
• Would use different face masks to play different characters.
• The actor true face was always hidden,
• Because they wore a number of different face masks,
• These masks enabled them to portray different characters – pretend to be someone else
• Hypocrisy is when we are two faced;
• When we pretend to be one thing in public and we are something else in private.
• An example of hypocrisy would be:
• Preaching publicly on the topic ‘Being faithful to your partner’;
• While in private having a secret affair with someone.
• We see hypocrisy in all areas of life;
• It is sad when we see it in the lives of politicians and leaders;
• And sadder still when we see it in the lives of Christian’s.
Now no-Christian is perfect, That is not an excuse it’s a fact!
• So at times we will be hypocritical,
• But that hypocrisy should be ‘at times’
• And we should be seeking to deal with it whenever it rears its ugly head.
Quote: John Newton (writer of the hymn Amazing Grace):
“I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be,
I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be,
and by the grace of God I am what I am”
• TRANSITION: None of us our perfect and we all fail;
• But like Newton we should be making progress in our Christian lives.
• So we can look back and say; “I am not what I once used to be”
• Now in this passage this morning;
• Hypocrisy is seen is a deliberate or justified life-style choice by these religious leaders
Let’s look at the passage:
• Jesus is invited into the house of a Pharisee (vs 17)?
• At this time in the life and ministry of Jesus,
• The Pharisees are opposed to him,
• So inviting Jesus into your home was a very strange thing to do!
• I would suggest his invitation was no genuine;