by Steve Dunn
Part of a Series
“Blind guides!…For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness…Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?” (Matthew 23:24-33)
Tough, tough words. These were uttered by Jesus on Tuesday of Holy Week part of an intense day of prophecy, warning , declarations of the end times, judgment, and in this case, confrontation with the Pharisees. Certainly not little Jesus meek and mild, Jesus of the Precious Moments figurines.
Hypocrisy in religious circles was something that evoked Jesus’ sharpest, sternest words. Religious leaders who in positions of authority who made the walk with God a performance test that emphasized what was seen on the outside instead of what was in the heart. Performance that even the most conscientious could not achieve which simply led to spirit-debilitating criticism.
And in this case, religious leaders who were adept at putting on a good show and hiding the arrogant, corrupt heart of the leader.
But before we gleefully point a finger at the pretentious men, we should remember that as we point a figure at them that we have three pointing back at us. Calling out hypocrites is actually dangerous rationalization if we haven’t deal with our own dark hearts.
© 2019 by Stephen L. Dunn. You have permission to reprint this provided it is unchanged, proper authorship is cited, it is in a publication not for sale, and a link is provided to this site or to http://www.drstevedunn.com. For all other uses, contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org