MATTHEW 6:5 NIV
Jesus is the only person in the New Testament who used the word "hypocrite." And there may be a reason why. Archeologists have discovered a city named Sepphoris, built by Herod the Great when Jesus was a boy. You could see it from a hillside on which His hometown of Nazareth was located. It housed a giant amphitheatre. The actors who put on plays there were called hypokrites. They wore masks so that the audience could identify the different characters each was intended to portray. At the end of the performance they would take off their masks and the audience would cheer and clap for them. So, practicing hypocrisy means wearing a mask designed to impress or deceive others. Ouch!
Then Jesus talks about three specific areas in which
we tend to practice hypocrisy:
 GIVING. "When you give...do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men" [Matthew 6:2 NIV].
 PRAYING. "When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in the secret, will reward you" [Matthew 6:6 NIV].
 JUDGING. "In the same way
you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be
measured to you...How can you say to your brother, Let me take the speck out of
your eye, when all the time there
is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own
eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye"
Matthew 7:2-5 NIV].
So, the Word for you today is-----DON'T BE A HYPOCRITE!
posted January 30th, 2010