Hypocrites save us a lot of time.
Once you identify a hypocrite, you don’t have to ponder for hours and wonder if that person is right or wrong.
(Warning: Graphic image ahead)
We know hypocrisy is the WORST kind of behaviour there is. So we hate it from the bottom of our heart when we see it in other people and the Church. And that’s OK because Jesus blasted hypocrites in the Bible right ( Matt. 23:13-15)?
Hypocrites undermine the Christian faith. “Brood of vipers”, amen?
Hypocrisy is one reason why most of our non-Christian friends do not surrender their lives to Jesus. Obnoxious experiences with other so-called Christians have driven away people from their Saviour by the truckload.
But here’s the main commandment Jesus reiterated that fulfills all the law of God.
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
– Matt 22:37-39
Jesus did not exclude hypocrites when He said, “love your neighbour”. So, why don’t WE love hypocrites?
And what makes us think that Jesus did not love the hypocrites He met?
The withering truths He directed at the hypocritical Pharisees and teachers of the Law was all in love and much grace. Jesus could have packed them all off to hell right then, but he did not. Yet there was definitely God’s anger on display against the hardened hearts that stood their ground in rebellion.
Our problem begins when we think the hypocrites of those times looked only like the Pharisees.
Had the woman at the well never been a hypocrite?
Had Peter or John never been hypocrites?
Do you believe there were no hypocrites among the prostitutes and drunkards who Jesus befriended? Really?
The fact is, Jesus confronted yet loved the hypocrites around Him. And you know you have been a hypocrite in your own right and His Law condemns you for all that you have advocated and secretly violated (Rom. 2:1,2). As a college senior of mine once put it disgustingly– “everyone likes the smell of their own poop, but not another’s.” We are OK with our private, little hypocrisies but not with another’s.
And yet Jesus was willing to be identified as a hypocrite on our behalf before His Father.
Our hypocrisies took our Saviour’s life. Now by His Spirit and power, at least now, we must love our hypocrites. Confront them, remembering how deeply we have pretended. Let us speak the truth in love with one another (Eph. 4:15), receive the truth from one another and thus fill our neighbourhoods with the beautiful redemption God has planned for a world full of hypocrites.