Mark 7:5-7, 20-23
Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?”
6 He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
‘ This people honors Me withtheirlips,
But their heart is far from Me.
7And in vain they worship Me,
Teachingasdoctrines the commandments of men
“Hypocrites” – Pharisees pretend to be something they are not and have no intention of being. They worshipped God for the wrong reasons – not motivated by love for God, but their selfish and self-centered desires to appear holy, gain profit, and gain social status.
Have you ever done anything just to look good to you someone, or because you want them to like you? Not just out of your love for them?
Like the Pharisees people today can be hypocrites. If someone pretends to love God just to make their parents or friends or teachers happy they are hypocrites. 1 Samuel 16:7 tells us that man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at our hearts. God judges by faith and character. Because only God can see on the inside only He can accurately judge people. James 4:11 tells us we are not to speak evil and judge a brother because then we become a judge of the law instead of a doer. 1 Cor 4:5 tells us to judge nothing before the appointed time, wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. We are to confront those who are sinning, in love, but we must not judge who is a better servant for Christ. When you judge someone you are considering yourself better than him or her and that is sinful behavior.
Have you ever had someone dislike you and they don’t even know you? How does it feel when someone judges you? Does it hurt? Does it feel unfair? How should you react? Pray for that person! Does it make you never want to put someone else through the pain they have caused you?
As you grow up you may have a lot of people come against you and judge you by your outward appearance. They may seeks to taint things that you have done out of a pure heart to ruin your reputation or to make themselves look better. They may attack your character and accuse you of doing things you never did. They may spread rumors, slander, or gossip about you. They may attempt to judge you without even getting to know you. All of these things are contrary to God’s word and are attacks from the enemy.
If the judgment and accusations comes from a Non-Christian then it is Satan using them to discourage and condemn you. If it comes from a Christian it is Satan trying to cause strife and division. Don’t let the enemy keep you down. Fix your eyes on Jesus. Don’t worry about what men think of you. God is your defender! He knows your heart. If you can stand before God with a clear conscience, knowing who you are in Him, as someone who desires His Will for your life then fear not. Worry not. What can man do to you? Nothing – God is your deliverer and your shield. God is in control. So when you are tempted to give into Satan’s plan and get upset over what others think of you – just remember that God knows the truth, He knows your heart, and His opinion is the only one that matters. It was the Pharisees who were concerned with their outward appearance, not Jesus!
The Pharisees were concerned about looking “holy”. They wanted people to fear them as the religious leaders, making sure everything looked perfect from the outside but paid little or no attention to what was taking place in their hearts. God’s word tells us that when we seek Him with our whole hearts, we will find him. If they had truly been seeking God in their hearts they would have known Jesus as Messiah. Instead they were hypocrites.
We become hypocrites when we pay more attention to reputation than to character. (Whether its others’ or our own)
We become hypocrites when we follow religious practices but allow our hearts to remain distant from God.
We become hypocrites when we emphasize our own goodness but others’ sins.
We are supposed to do everything in love. Without love, works profit us nothing (1 Cor 13). God sees our hearts and desires for our hearts to be close to Him. He did not desire the Pharisees traditions and man made laws; he desired a relationship with them. We grow close to God by praying, reading the Bible, obeying His commandments, trusting Him, and desiring His Will above our own wants & desires. God promises when we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. What do you do to draw near to God?