This week at BBC, we are continuing to look at Jesus’ teaching from his famous Sermon on the Mount. Jesus doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to correcting the false religion of his day and Chapter 6:1-4 of Matthew is no different. What I was struck by from this section, is Jesus instruction to not do ‘as the hypocrites do in the synagogues’ (Matthew 6:2). Imagine having God, the Creator of the Universe, the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God-man, Jesus the Son of God, divinity veiled in flesh lump you into the category of HYPOCRITE. The reality of that would be soul crushing.

The word hypocrite comes from the Greek word “hypokrites” which is pronounced (hoop-ok-ree-tace). Interestingly, this is the word for an actor, somebody who ‘acts’ on a stage; a person who is playing a role. Taken out of the dramatical context, it is someone who is pretending to be something they are not, it is someone who is two faced, it is someone whose actions do not line up with the reality of who they are. A hoop-ok-ree-tace is someone who acts in certain ways just so that they are ‘seen’ to be living up to the image that they are promoting of themselves. This is a difficult saying in 2019, particularly when the image we portray of ourselves is so closely linked to personal worth.

A hoop-ok-ree-tace is someone that goes to church so they can be seen to be going to church, not because they are a lover of God and the brethren. They are the person who gives money to be seen to be generous, not because they are actually generous (you can tell a hoop-ok-ree-tace is generous… because they have told you.) It is the person in conversation who blows their own trumpet because no one else is. Unfortunately, it is the default position of the human heart. Why is this? We want glory! 

The default position of our sinful heart is to play the role of God. We are a hoop-ok-ree-tace in a cosmic drama in which we become the all powerful, all knowing, worthy, object of worship. As a gauge, just ask your thoughts- what percentage of them are only about you? Just ask your emotions- when someone puts you down or fails to give you praise, how do you feel? Just ask your contentment, when life is not going exactly the way you planned it would go.

The issue is that ‘hoop-ok-ree-tace’ is the best we can do in and of ourselves. But, don’t settle for it! Settle for what is truth, settle for the real thing, settle for the Way, the Truth and the Life! Settle only for Jesus Christ.

Bless Ya!

Ps. Dave