Summary: A sermon on hypocrisy or pompus piety from Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
Evening Service for 8/9/2009
Matthew 6:1-6, 16- 18
Did you grow up in an openly “religious” home?
A. Jesus has been talking about superior righteousness (Matthew 5:20- Righteousness exceed the Pharisees), now he warns them of the danger of religious hypocrisy.
B. Matthew 6:1 talks about outward righteousness or appearing pious. The emphasis should not be on outward applause but on inward righteousness.
C. Jesus goes beyond just the letter of the law or even the letter of his own words in chapter 5. He now begins to talk about motives.
D. A question I had, does this verse contradict Matthew 5:16?
E. The emphasis here is who gets the credit? We should not be concerned about that; we should just be concerned that God gets the credit. Matthew 5:12 should be one of our concerns. However, even this can be a less than holy motive.
F. Put a smile on God’s face.
G. (John 5:44 NIV) How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?
Thesis: Jesus gives three examples of this kind of hypocrisy.
1. In our giving vs. 2-4
A. We give checks so that we can get tax credits. Gay and a few others know who gives what. This can be bad. “Why are you spending so much time with so and so, they don’t give anything?” Need to be as anonymous as possible and it needs to stay that way.
B. Another practice, something to consider, if you give a donation then your name will be on a pew or on a window or on a piano, etc. This is probably not a good practice.
C. Did they announce their giving with trumpets? No, probably figurative language
D. At the temple they had horn shaped collection boxes to discourage theft. Only problem was that the rich had many coins and this made a louder sound than someone with a few. (Mark 12:41 NIV) Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.(Mark 12:42 NIV) But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.(Mark 12:43 NIV) Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.(Mark 12:44 NIV) They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything--all she had to live on."
E. Don’t be an actor on a stage. We are not to get the applause of men but the applause of God. They have received their reward (applause of men) and will not receive a reward from God. (Psa 17:14 NIV) O LORD, by your hand save me from such men, from men of this world whose reward is in this life.
F. Left hand does not know what the right is doing. How is this done?
Most of the people at Chicago’s Children’s Hospital did not know her name. They just knew her as the sweet elderly lady in the red suit who wanted to make sure that every sick child had a teddy bear to hug and caress. She kept bringing the stuffed animals, purchased with her own money, to give to ailing children. That is why she was simply called the “Teddy Bear Lady.”
Her name was Gladys Holm, a retired secretary for an insurance company, who lived alone in a tiny apartment. It wasn’t that she could afford no better place, although no one except her attorney and stockbroker knew she was quite wealthy.
When she died at age 86, she had a portfolio worth over $18 million. She had never married and had no heirs. Her will simply directed that the bulk of her estate be given to the Children’s Memorial Hospital. Her gift was to go to medical research so that new methods of treating sick or disabled children might be developed.
The hospital authorities were absolutely shocked by the news. No one had the slightest idea that this woman delivering the teddy bears to ailing children had such wealth. As they began to piece together more of her life’s story, they discovered something else. They learned that the teddy bears were really a ruse. She gave away teddy bears to learn more about the financial resources of the families of the children. When she learned that parents did not have insurance or enough to cover the expenses, she very quietly took care of the bills.
G. Do our giving and then forget it. Somebody knows but do it as quietly as possible.
G. How could we do without?