Week 5 - Sincerity // Day 2
Matthew 23 5 “Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. 6 And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. 7 They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi.’ 8 “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters. 9 And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your Father. 10 And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah.
In the light of this passage define the hypocrisy that Jesus so much abhorred. Does it not consist in caring little for the real goodness and usefulness of life, so long as an admirable, or at least respectable, appearance can be maintained? How modern this sin is! Some one has written: “He stands having his belt of glistening with religiosity and having on the breastplate of respectability. His feet are shod with praised charitable acts, his head is encased in the helmet of spread-eagle patriotism. Holding in his left hand the shield of worldly success and in his right the sword of influence.” Compare this picture with the original portrait in Ephesians 6:13-17:
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.