LIFE OF CHRIST

 

Mark 2:23-3:6

MARKS OF A HYPOCRITE

Life of Christ #18

 

Our subject is hypocrisy as Jesus confronts the Pharisees on the issues of picking and eating grain on the Sabbath and healing on the Sabbath.

 

The Pharisees were a super religious, super pious, super legalistic group that took pleasure in giving Jesus a hard time. The Pharisees were zealous for keeping the letter of the law; not only the laws of God, but the laws written by men.

 

Our Lord’s most frequent word to describe the Pharisees was “hypocrites”! Matthew 23:23-25

 

Today we do not have a religious group called the Pharisees, but we still have hypocrites with us.

·        These hypocrites expect more of others than they do of themselves.

·        These hypocrites will tell you how to live but do not live it themselves.

·        These hypocrites will say one thing and do another.

·        These hypocrites will pretend to be what they are not.

 

And the sad thing about it is that you and I often fall into the trap of being hypocrites. Often it happens when we judge others, but don’t consider our own faults. Romans 2:22

 

In Mark 2:23-3:6 the Lord Jesus shows us the marks of a hypocrite.

   

A HYPOCRITE HAS A CRITICAL MIND – 2:23-28

 

As we begin our study, it is a Sabbath day.

That means it was Saturday.

It was the Jewish day of worship.

It was the Jewish day of rest.

It was the Jewish day of religious observance.

Work was not to be done on the Sabbath. It was a collective day off. Exodus 31:15

 

Of course, this was under the Jewish Law. In the New Testament every one of the Ten Commandments is repeated in some way, shape, or form, except the keeping of the Sabbath. The reason is clear. Since Jesus arose from the dead, the day of worship and rest for the Christian is on Sunday.

 

Vs. 23 – The disciples were probably grabbing a snack of raw wheat to eat as they walked along.   

According to Deuteronomy 23:25 this was perfectly legal.

Certain Pharisees were evidently traveling with the Lord and they criticized this act done by the disciples.

 

Vs. 24 – The Pharisees believed that even picking grain and eating it on Saturday was a violation of the Law.

 

This was as silly as claiming that picking an apple of the tree, wiping it off, and eating it is working!

 

The Pharisees had a critical mind.

They were actually looking for sins in the lives of others.

The Pharisees were nit-pickers, looking for even the smallest things to criticize.

 

I perceive this same critical mind in us Christians.

 

Matthew 7:1-2 - Judge not, that ye be not judged. [2] For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

 

Romans 14:4 - Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

   

 

Vs. 25-26 – Jesus reminded the Pharisees how David and his men were fed by the High Priest, using bread that was consecrated to God. There was no other bread available. And so the law was violated with no fault being found in Scripture. Even the Lord Jesus did not find fault, but used it as a positive example.

 

Why would God allow David to be fed with consecrated bread?

Why would God, the Son, allow his disciples to pick grain on the Sabbath?

Meeting legitimate human needs are important to God, and should be important to us!

 

Vs. 27 – The Sabbath was made for man to benefit him.

               Man was not made for the Sabbath to benefit the

               Sabbath.

 

Vs. 28 – The Son of Man is the Lord Jesus.  If Jesus is Lord, He is also Lord of the Sabbath. 

 

If He chooses to allow his disciples to meet their physical needs on the Sabbath Day, no matter what anyone says, it’s okay.

 

A HYPOCRITE HAS AN ACCUSING EYE – 3:1-2

 

Vss. 1-2 – Notice that there was a man with a withered hand. He had a physical need and it was the Sabbath Day.

 

Notice also that the Pharisees watched Jesus carefully so they might have reason to accuse Him.

They were secretly hoping that Jesus would heal this man, so they could have reason to complain.

It’s bad enough that people have a critical mind.

It’s bad enough when people are nit-pickers and fault-finders. But then when they actually look for things to find fault with it becomes even worse.

 

 

A HYPOCRITE HAS A HARDENED HEART – Vss. 3-5

 

Did Jesus know that these Pharisees were sitting in the audience ready to accuse Him if he made a false move?

I’m sure he did.

And if you are going to do what is right in God’s eyes, you will be criticized too. 2 Timothy 3:12

 

Vs. 3 – Notice what Jesus did. He had the man stand up.

He was going to help the man.

In spite of the critics, he did what was right anyway.

That’s exactly what we should do, even if people are watching us in order to criticize.

 

Vs. 4 – Jesus asked a question.  What was morally right to do on the Sabbath Day?  Was it right to do good, or, was it right to do evil?  Was it right to save life, or was it right to kill?   

I think Jesus was trying to show that every other day it is right to do that which is good, and it is wrong to do evil. This doesn’t change on the Sabbath Day.

The man standing before them had a need on a Sabbath Day. It was right to meet that need, even if the Pharisees considered performing a miracle work that shouldn’t be done on the Sabbath.

 

Vs. 5 – The Pharisees were hard-hearted. They wouldn’t answer Him, but within they were resisting the Lord Jesus.

The man’s needy condition did not move them with compassion.

Notice that Jesus was angered and grieved!

 

I wonder how many times Jesus is grieved and angered with our hardened hearts.

 

Notice that Jesus healed the man anyway.

Jesus did what was right in spite of those who had hardened hearts.

Jesus is at work today. Is he working in spite of you or through you?

 

A HYPOCRITE HAS A DESTRUCTIVE TONGUE

 

Vs. 6 – Notice that very quickly these people went out and took council to destroy.

They were hypocrites! They sat in church looking pious, and as soon as church was over, they were out to attack a man for doing good on a Sabbath Day.

I have found that when people have a hardened heart, an accusing eye, and a critical mind that their tongues idle at 90 miles an hour.

 

And the rule of thumb is that you never tell the person you are critical of. You always tell someone else.

Proverbs 6:16-19  - These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: [17] A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, [18] An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, [19] A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

 

A destructive tongue does more to ruin the testimony of the church and other Christians than anything else I know.   

 

Let me ask you something. Based on what we’ve seen about hypocrites this morning, are you one?

 

A HYPOCRITE HAS A CRITICAL MIND

A HYPOCRITE HAS AN ACCUSING EYE

A HYPOCRITE HAS A HARDENED HEART

A HYPOCRITE HAS A DESTRUCTIVE TONGUE

 

God loves you.

He wants you to repent.

Will you?

1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

 

 

RETURN TO LIFE OF CHRIST INDEX