Matthew 15:12-14 Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said? Jesus replied, "Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch." (LAB)
The pharisees and scribes had been watching every move Jesus made - paying attention to every word He said and everything He did. Not to learn from Him or give Him props - the exact opposite - so they could accuse Him, find reason to discredit Him or to show themselves to be the only ones worthy of praise and recognition.
Jesus was a very public person, on a very public mission and everything He said and did came under intense scrutiny.
As a public servant leader and a follower of Jesus Christ, you too will come under intense scrutiny. As long as you serve like everyone else serves, respond as everyone else responds and do as everyone else does - no one will challenge you. However, the moment you begin living out who you are in Christ, breaking free of the pack, that will change.
The pharisees and scribes had challenged Jesus because his disciples hadn't washed their hands before eating. "Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat." (Matthew 15:2)
These religious leaders had twisted and expanded the original commandment meant only for priests and had expanded it to apply to everyone else. Jesus went on to recite other commandments they had over time twisted and expanded and had made into a "tradition" to which they held everyone else but themselves accountable. Jesus called them hypocrites to their face.
His disciples were astonished that he would do this and said to him in essence, "Wow Jesus, don't you know who you just offended? Don't you know who they are?"
Isn't this us sometimes? We know the truth, but won't correct the one who is wrong or misrepresenting what we know is truth because we are afraid of offending them; or, we are too intimidated because of their position or don't want to be the odd man or woman out - so we keep quiet and go along to get along. When we do that, guess what? We then become the hypocrite.
When His disciples asked Him if He understood whom he had offended, Jesus said not only did he know, but he didn't care because they were hypocrites and wouldn't last. He went even further and said that those who followed them wouldn't last either. So what they thought or said was irrelevant and thus he told the disciples to ignore them.
Regardless with whom He was speaking, Jesus spoke truth. None of us are perfect and we don't always get it right. But when we find ourself in a position where someone is misleading others, particularly as it relates to the things of God, and we know the other person doesn't know any better, we are obligated to speak up. If not, we then become the hypocrite.
If you have publicly identified as a follower of Jesus Christ, your friends, supporters, constituents and colleagues are watching - just as the disciples were watching Jesus. Will they see truth or hypocrisy? Word to the wise - hypocrites have no lasting value and after a while are completely ignored. Be known for truth, not hypocrisy.
Published on Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 7:34 AM CDT