Hypocrisy, Unmasked

I still remember where I was standing ten years ago when I received a phone call that rattled me. I was standing outside, in the driveway, and my best friend was calling to notify me of a mutual friend who had just been exposed as a spiritual fraud.

Anytime you hear of a professing believer who isn’t who they claimed to be it is upsetting.

But what made this one so hard to compute as I moved from standing in the driveway to sitting on the porch, is that this man was the last person I would have suspected. And we had spent many hours together.

This man had poured into me, personally teaching me how to interpret the Scriptures and how to teach them. He sharpened me theologically. He inspired me and pushed me to memorize Scripture and grow in my understanding of God’s truth. 

As I sat under his preaching he would often times break into a sweat as he urgently pled with us to obey God. He would issue calls to action in a loud voice and in a soft whisper, but always with great passion.

And when I say he was the last person you’d expect it was because he was so reverential and so devoted, at least so it seemed. 

One conversation in particular illustrates this. I remember once I told him in passing that I’d dreamt that he told a joke while presiding over a wedding ceremony. I was expecting him to laugh, but instead with a serious face he looked at me almost offended and said, “maybe, maybe at a wedding reception I would tell a joke, but I would never joke in something as so serious as taking marriage vows and entering into a covenant relationship before God.”

I walked away from the conversation feeling sheepish about how unspiritual I was compared to such a giant. My view of marriage was so low that I thought the joke from my dream was funny, when a real spiritual man would have never laughed at such a thing.

But the truth is that underneath that reverential speech was pastor who was at that very same time exhorting money and living in secret immorality.

All of the impassioned preaching, all of the encouragement to memorize Scripture, all of the somber counsel and the reverential statements was a show. This man didn’t love Jesus Christ or his Gospel. He loved money and sex and influence and found that the church was a place to secretly gain all of these things he treasured so dearly.

This is a spiritual hypocrite. 

Unlike people in the world who are honest and upfront about how much they love their sin and flaunt it unashamedly, hypocrites cling to their sin while remaining in and among the people of God. 

Hypocrisy means pretending. These are unspiritual people pretending to be spiritual. The problem is that on the one hand they don’t want to let go of their sin, and on the other hand they don’t want to let go of their spiritual reputation.

Whenever God exposes spiritual hypocrisy it is always unsettling. 

It’s unsettling because you have heard this person speak truth. Sometimes even with great insight. In my situation it was proclaimed clearly, accurately and persuasively, but it meant nothing.

Hypocrisy is unsettling, but it doesn’t shake our faith. 

It doesn’t shake our faith because God himself tells us to expect hypocrites among the people of God who appear spiritual but aren’t.

It’s a problem that isn’t going away any time soon (not until Jesus comes back to judge the world). And it was a problem in Israel as well.

Take your Bibles with me this morning and turn to Mark 12. We are in the Gospel, the good news of Jesus studying Mark’s version of the record. Today we will cover 12:13-17. I want to remind you of our setting and then we will hit the ground running as we pick things up in v. 13

Mark 12:13–17—13 Then they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Him in order to trap Him in a statement. 14 They came and said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? 15 “Shall we pay or shall we not pay?” But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at.” 16 They brought one. And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” And they said to Him, “Caesar’s.” 17 And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him.

It takes a little bit of explanation for us here to really catch the significance of what is taking place. It’s obvious that there is hypocrisy and malintent going on.

But let’s be realistic here. Asking a question about taxes doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. Hey Jesus, what do you think about toll bridges, or income taxes? How do you feel about the IRS?

We do learn what Jesus thinks to a degree about government in this passage, but that certainly isn’t the point about what is going on. Believers are taught other places in the New Testament about our obligation to pray for our government, submit to our government and support our government except when it comes to things that are evil.

But here as we will see, the issue is about people who are pretending to be spiritual. Government just happens to be the topic that exposes it.

But first, a reminder of how we got here…

When we started into Chapter 11 Jesus had just gotten to Jerusalem. It was the beginning of the last week before his crucifixion. He and the disciples have made the village of Bethany home base each night. 

It’s Passover so the city is cram packed with travelers.

Sunday morning Jesus comes into town on a donkey. One that’s never been ridden before. And in that miraculous moment he is hailed as the Messiah and King. Thousands of people are shouting Hosanna—God saves! At him.

The next morning, he finds a tree full of leaves, but no fruit. The tree is a picture of the temple—lots of activity, but no fruit. Jesus tells the tree to die on his way in to town to pronounce judgment on the temple.

He clears out an entire marketplace that had been set up to rip people off who came to town without proper payment methods or proper animals for sacrificing. It was full of price gouging and commerce, and it was supposed to be a place of worship and prayer.

Remarkably, Jesus has such incredible authority that he disrupts the entire deal and sends dozens of people out of the temple court. It would have been dramatic and intense. The day ends, he goes back to Bethany. 

Wakes up the next morning, now Tuesday and that is where we find ourselves today in v. 13— 

Jesus Clashes with Spiritual Pretenders

  1. The conspiracy against Jesus (13)

(13) Then they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Him in order to trap Him in a statement.

Last week we said that this is long to be a long day for Jesus. It started with the two-mile walk into Jerusalem from Bethany. It included the conversation about the withered fig tree and the lesson on prayer.

Jesus then began teaching that morning in the temple where he was openly confronted by the Sanhedrin the rulers there in Jerusalem. It was the equivalent of a showdown in the capitol rotunda with the governor, state attorneys, judges and legislators. They confront Jesus about the origin of his authority, hoping to embarrass him and undermine his credibility in front of the people.

He exposes their falsehood by asking them to take a clear stand on the ministry of John and commit to a position—is he a prophet or a pretender?

They are unwilling to answer, they tell a lie saying they don’t know (they knew they just didn’t want to say). It was a total sham that the most studied group of experts in the Scripture couldn’t identify whether someone was a true or a false prophet.

Jesus tells a parable about them that is scathing. All the people understand that God is removing their influence to give it to others (it will be the apostles) and the church built on the cornerstone, Jesus himself.

And v. 12 says they left him and went away.

That’s the same they as in v.13 here. Continuing with our analogy then these rulers leave the capitol rotunda and the confrontation, and they go find some activists, some protestors to come and deal with Jesus now.

And so, they select two groups. The Pharisees and the Herodians.

Strange bedfellows indeed. You have the religious fanatics and the political smooshers. The purists and the pragmatists. These guys don’t hang out with each other typically. Can I find a better example than feminists originally part of the LGBT revolution now backing off as the undoing of gender destroys their entire standing.

This first group is Pharisees, the next will be Sadducees, and the next will be the scribes.

Today it would be the equivalent of Pharisees being a conservative denomination that has lost the true Gospel, but keeps up religious practices and appearances and rules and regulations. 

The Herodians would be a group of right-wing conservatives that aren’t driven by theology so much as ideology. They want to see a political environment that matches their outcome.

And so you can see these two groups wouldn’t normally partner up together. But the issue is that Jesus is frustrating both of them. He’s exposing the Pharisees as a sham and bringing about conviction. What skin in the game did the Herodians have?

This conversation we have coming up is the fruition of strategizing. Periodically a memo or an email is leaked from the republican or democratic party that reveals the political strategizing that goes on behind the scenes working out how to message various issues. How to spin them. How to best attack them. How to frame up an argument and a position.

In fact, this has been going on for years.

Mark 3:6—The Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.

This hateful scheming is of course fueled by Satan. So, the Sanhedrin get these two groups together…in order to trap Him in a statement.

Literally that they might catch him unawares—used in a military context of approaching an enemy by stealth so that you can ambush them when they are caught off guard. Used of trapping animals and the concept is getting him caught in his words.

Catch if off-guard by surprise to make a public gaffe.

Little has changed in politics, eh?

But why these two groups and why now? The timing now is just right. Luke records this exact situation saying:

Luke 20:20—So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, in order that they might catch Him in some statement, so that they could deliver Him to the rule and the authority of the governor.

The question as we will see in a minute will force Jesus to either alienate his people or speak against the government. That’s the goal. The Pharisees are the religious keepers of Israel if Jesus sides with Rome. If he speaks against Rome, the Herodians are there to take word to Herod that Jesus is creating an uprising.

Rome couldn’t care less about a theological perspective, so they needed to get Jesus on some charge that they would actually care about.

Much like today even in our country. You aren’t going to get a legal injunction for holding an optional Bible study in your home or simply attending church. But if you force your employees to attend Bible study, or discriminate based upon religion in your hiring practices, or refuse to make a wedding cake to celebrate a gay wedding, those things now are crossing boundary lines that will elicit a response. 

No Roman authority cares about Jesus teaching on his eternal kingdom or biblical morality. 

Consider the cake baking in Colorado. Exactly one day after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a cake baker, against the State of Colorado in a narrow ruling, a transgender attorney called the shop and requested a cake celebrating his or her gender transition.

Herod is in Jerusalem. Pontius Pilate, the governor is in town as well because it is Passover. You’ve already had thousands of people flocking to Jesus at his entry on the back of the baby donkey on Sunday morning. He was hailed that day as Israel’s king (Messiah…. Deliverer).

Hypocrites say whatever they need to in order to get what they want. They are liars and deceivers who cover and shade the truth.

  1. The conspiracy against Jesus (13)

  2. The challenge to Jesus (14-15a)

(14) They came and said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth.

Tremendous irony here of course is that they are speaking the truth.

Their goal is to do a couple of things here:

First, this is what the people think about Jesus. So, they are appealing to the popular view. It’s not what they believe at all. They’ve called him a deceiver and a liar.

Second, this ups the ante for the question they are about to ask. In other words, they are going to put Jesus in a spot where he is on the hook to answer the question.  

It would have been like if Jesus had said to the Sanhedrin last week: we know that you are the experts, we know that you are the wisest when it comes to the Scriptures, we know that if anyone could identify a true prophet it would be you guys, and then he asked his question. 

You are truthful—honest friends are hard to come by, but those are the good ones.

Defer to no one—literally: and you do not get anxious or overly concerned concerning anyone… What an incredible statement. You are not moved or shaken by the opinions of others, but grounded in God-produced fear of him and conviction.

for you are not partial to any—for you aren’t looking into the faces of men.

but you teach the way of God in truth

Oh God—may this be said of you and me. Unadulterated. Untainted by personal motives and agendas. Teaching pure, simple, clear truth of God. Jesus goal was ever and always the glory of God.

They are calculating that Jesus will have to answer them honestly with such a public set up.

Scary about false teachers. They often speak the truth. Do you understand how good of a game these men spoke? They were master deceivers. Master manipulators. And so here they are saying many true and good sounding things about Jesus.

Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?

So here it is. This is the long-thought about question. Of course no one loves taxes, more on that in a minute. That’s not really the primary issue here though.

Caesar = emperor (the lord). Caesars were deified in Rome. The question then is, “is it morally right for God’s people to give the money God has entrusted to us to idolaters?” “Does the law require us anywhere to pay these guys?

The poll tax was a tax paid by each male adult to Rome.

It’s worth noting that this is the same approach that Jesus has just took with them. Jesus asked them a question that could not be answered without ruining their public reputation.

If Jesus says: It’s not lawful (you have the bigwigs in town and that’s not going to go over well).

If instead he says: it is lawful (you just lost credibility and popularity among the people). Saying yes alienates his followers by appearing like he is in support of the Roman establishment.               

You can almost sense the urgency to pressure a response:                           

(15) “Shall we pay or shall we not pay?” 

Essentially they are framing this up to a rabbi saying, “ Should we be misusing God’s money by funding a corrupt government?” I mean what citizen to varying degrees can’t relate to that question?

Now some things are challenging to contextualize into our day and age from the first century. This is not one of them. Rome taxed things like property, crops, imports, transportation. Here the poll tax was a tax for existing. Surprisingly, paying taxes wasn’t anyone’s favorite responsibility. Of course, we enjoy the benefits from our taxes being used to provide common benefits.

For the Jews there was another layer, that I think we can also appreciate. Rome was a Gentile nation. They were idolatrous rulers. As a Jew, you were part of God’s chosen people and you are taking God’s property and handing it over to pagans to use for practices that aren’t in-line with God’s priorities.

The federal government give money to organizations that oppose God and his design for life, such as Planned Parenthood. There’s an internal conflict that makes this difficult for a Christian.

Look, for all of the desires for religious liberty that were involved in the founding of our nation, do you remember the issue that finally resulted in a revolt from the British monarchy? Taxes were central. No taxation without representation! That slogan first appeared in a sermon in 1750. In a sermon! Stirring up a sense of injustice for a government to collect tax revenue.

Similar to what’s taking place here. Historically, there were Jews that had tried to break this yoke. It was unsuccessful, but the key point of contention focused around the issue of taxation. 25 years before this in AD 6, a man by the name of Judas founded a group called the Zealots who revolted against these taxes.

Acts 5:37—“After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census and drew away some people after him; he too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered.

But other uprisings occurred. In fact, one of the twelve right now was a zealot, turned disciple of Jesus:

Mark 3:18—and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot;

Why all of this background? Because guess who Jesus gets lumped in with if he says, “don’t pay the tax!” Herod is town. Pilate is in town. This is the perfect timing. It’s all coming together.

You’ve got Pharisees—religious experts in the law (God doesn’t tell us to pay taxes to Gentiles anywhere in the law). Meanwhile you’ve got Herodians—delegates who are politically connected to Rome (Is this man who is getting so much attention this Bernie Sanders-like figure who in short order is suddenly a celebrity… is this man going to incite a rebellion against us?).

In point of fact the question was insincere. Its object was to force Jesus into a compromising position either theologically or politically. The form of the question (“shall we give, or shall we not give it?”) was skillfully designed to thrust Jesus on the horns of a dilemma. An affirmative answer would discredit him in the eyes of the people, for whom the tax was an odious token of subjection to Rome. A negative reply would invite reprisals from the Roman authorities.

But anytime you go up against Jesus with impure motives it isn’t going to end well. He is the sovereign God and he is able to test and discern thoughts and motives.

  1. The conspiracy against Jesus (13)

  2. The challenge to Jesus (14-15a)

  3. The comeback by Jesus (15b-17a)

But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why are you testing Me? 

Knowing their hypocrisy. Jesus knows the pretense. He knows the fakeness. He knows the deception.

BDAG: “playing a stage role” (as in acting)— to create a public impression that is at odds with one’s real purposes or motivations, play-acting, pretense, outward show, dissembling…

He knows they are pretending to be concerned about this important theological matter, but it’s a question to gain popularity and score political points. So, he asks point blank: Why are you testing Me? Why are you trying to trap me or catch me in a mistake?

I’ve been in this situation before. A public setting with someone asking doctrinal and theological questions, not to get answers, not to learn, not to lovingly correct, but to discredit and disprove and exalt self. It’s a classic move by a hypocrite.

Even unbelievers hate hypocrisy. It is an insincerity of heart there is a duplicity. An appearing of one way when reality is different.

This is so vital for us to think about I want to pause here for a minute and let’s move from the spiritual hypocrisy in the lives of these men and examine where it exists in our own hearts. Obviously, they were unrepentant. They were unsaved. They were complete hypocrites.

If you are saved, then you aren’t categorically a hypocrite anymore, but sometimes we go back to our old, natural patterns. Let’s think through for a minute how to spot hypocrisy in our hearts. We hate it in others but are often blind to it in our own lives. 

Areas that we spiritually pretend to be righteous:

  • You say things to give people the impression that you are spiritually mature (you have down the lingo, so to speak), but you talk a better game than you live.

  • You get uncomfortable around spiritually mature people because it either threatens your ability to keep up appearances, or else it causes you to feel that you are a fake or you might get exposed.

  • The primary restraint of doing evil in your life is the fear of the consequences, the fear of being discovered, the fear of feeling guilty.

  • You utter phrases that you hear other people say and have picked up on as things you should say, when you can’t relate them to your own personal experiential knowledge.

  • You keep people at arm’s length when it comes to sharing openly and frankly about who you are and what you think and believe.

  • Children who aren’t coming clean with their parents—saying and doing what you need to in order to keep the peace and not get in trouble. But you aren’t up front about your desires, you mask them and play the part.

  • You talk about spiritual things when you are around spiritual people, and then when you have your own personal, private, down time, you don’t commune with Jesus. You want other things.

  • You give excuses for why you don’t do or do do things rather than be upfront.

  • If you are spiritually insecure around other people that is a sign that things are not right in your heart before the Lord. There’s still a showing in the flesh that you want to make. Humble people aren’t spiritually insecure. They love the Lord and trust in his righteousness.

Areas that we flatter to gain an advantage:

  • Smoother talkers who make a good show in the flesh. You speak deceitfully to cover up what you are really thinking or feeling because you want people to view you in a certain light and the truth would change that.

  • You want people to feel like you are for them to their face, when really you are against them.

  • You put on a show of kindness to mask bitterness.

  • You speak one way to someone’s face, and then when you get in the car you unmask how you really feel.

  • People who act affirming or supported, but undermined behind the scenes. Gossipers who don’t confront biblically are hypocrites because they pretend to not bring things up to a person for their sake, but then they tell others. Not being up front about your motives (winking as the Proverbs say).

Hypocrisy is natural for us. It’s only the power of God that begins to change a hypocrite.

God hates hypocrisy. 

But he saves hypocrites who are willing to come clean. And by his grace he frees them to say, “I’m a sinful man or woman, I’m a sinful boy or girl…” in my words, in my thought life, and in my deeds. But I have a great God and a righteous savior. I stand before you justified while still sinning.

Good prayer: Lord, where do I want to appear righteous, even when I’m not? Lord, where do portray greater maturity than I possess? Lord, where do I act deceptively with others to gain an advantage?

The worst hypocrisy of all is pretending to be a Christian when you are not. It’s the ultimate hypocrisy. To claim to be a child of God a worshipper, and yet God is not your Father and you worship yourself.

If you are a hypocrite, then I plead with you to repent and be saved.

And if you will not repent, then at least be honest that you don’t believe these things. Woe to you… hypocrites Jesus warns. You are cursed and damned and it is a bad thing to be you…

Well the trap is set. Jesus is on the ropes, or so it seems. And then he says:

Bring Me a denarius to look at.

It was a long day’s wage for a laborer. Average labor wages $15/hr. for a  10 hour work day you are looking at around $150 equivalent to our money today. One day’s paycheck for a laborer.

(16) They brought one. And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” And they said to Him, “Caesar’s.”

If you were to look at the coin, it would be somewhat similar to our coins. Pull your coins out and find Lincoln, Jefferson, Roosevelt or Washington. I had to look it up. I couldn’t tell you any except Lincoln on the penny.

Very different for them. Because the face on the coin was of the person who was alive and ruling at that time. And the inscription was essentially a claim to being a god.

The denarius of Tiberius portrayed the emperor as the semi-divine son of the god Augustus and the goddess Livia and bore the (abbreviated) inscription “Tiberius Caesar Augustus, Son of the Divine Augustus” on the obverse and “Pontifex Maximus” on the reverse. Both the representations and the inscriptions were rooted in the imperial cult and constituted a claim to divine honors.

(17) And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, 

An instruction about our relationship as believers to the government God has placed over us. God gave government to bring order and restrain evil and provide benefits like security and protection and structure to society. 

Simply put. It’s his, give it back to him. Not that all the money is owed by Caesar, but even corruption in government doesn’t remove their jurisdiction. We really aren’t tested in this yet to the degree that most Christians throughout history have experienced.

  • Be subject to your rulers and be obedient and peaceable and don’t malign (Titus 3:1-2)

  • Be subject to authority and don’t resist, viewing it as coming from God (Romans 13:1-7). In that passage it includes paying taxes to those who devote themselves to public service.

  • Pray for your governmental rulers that you may lead a life of godliness and others might be saved (1 Timothy 2:1-6)

  • Submit for the sake of Jesus Christ to government so that you can silence the ignorance of foolish people who speak against believers (1 Peter 2:13-17)

And so here: Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Not complicated!

Well that’s a problematic answer.

Nothing here to incite Rome’s heavy-handed response. Nothing here to lose credibility among the people.

and to God the things that are God’s. 

What did they owe God? What do you and I owe God?

You guys want to mess around with distracting issues like whether or not to pay taxes? Stop playing games with God. That’s the real concern here.

The denarius belonged to Caesar and bore his image; people belong to god and bear His image. The coin can be rendered to Caesar in obedience to temporal law, but obedience and honor is to be rendered to God in light of divine law.

This is the beginning of the Gospel message. You are owned by God and you owe God. What do you owe him? Praise, honor, glory, obedience, love and worship. Greatest commandment as we will revisit in a couple of weeks is to love the Lord your God with everything within you, without a competing allegiance, priority, desire or goal.

Jesus doesn’t reject the spiritual leaders because they are sinners. Jesus welcomes sinners. The stipulation? Stop pretending. Stop faking it. Own it and admit that you need the righteousness that only God provides. 

Jesus is certainly indicting, but this is a gracious indictment. To call sin for what it is and to call others to repentance is loving and kind. Jesus is saying, be saved!

But these men are calloused and hard-hearted.

  1. The conspiracy against Jesus (13)

  2. The challenge to Jesus (14-15a)

  3. The comeback by Jesus (15b-17a)

  4. The coldness toward Jesus (17b)

And they were amazed at Him. 

In the original they were utterly amazed, very amazed, completely astonished. 

Do you know why I find that so concerning? Because it’s possible to have a visceral response to a message and not be broken by it.

You can even get emotionally charged up after a sermon. You can feel convicted, you can have a great conversation about the truth afterwards. 

But the question is are you submitting to truth? Is it confronting your values and your way of thinking and transforming you? The test is submission to truth. Do you believe it and yield to it?

I get concerned that we are amazed by Jesus and that doesn’t necessarily equate to worshipping Jesus.

Beware of interacting with truth on a superficial level. Not something that you ever want to be accustomed to. Dangerous pattern and habit to get into.

These men were on the brink of salvation. God’s grace is right in front of them. They are amazed and wowed in the moment by Jesus. But they were callous toward him. They didn’t have a response. Luke 20:26 says they kept silent. Matthew 22:22 says after hearing it they left and went away.

No self-examination. 

Later they will actually lie and accuse Jesus before Pilate saying in:

Luke 23:2b—We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.

If you can’t trap ‘em and he isn’t doing anything wrong, then lie about him. That’s their whole game plan.

This is a heavy moment…

I was thinking, if only these men had believed what they were saying: Oh rabbi, you are truthful. You don’t defer, you aren’t partial.

So, did they know it? 2 Timothy 3:13—deceiving and deceived… hypocrites could often pass a polygraph. A true hypocrite, pun intended, brushes their teeth in the morning, looking in the mirror thinking, viewing themselves as right.

There is no soft, receptivity to God’s word. There is hard-heartedness.

Well listen, if you are sitting here today and you are a pretender, then I beg you to stop the show. The last thing you need to be concerned about is what me or anyone else thinks of you. We are talking about where you stand before God. As we said last week there were those among the Sanhedrin that were in inner turmoil at Jesus.

He was on the one hand compelling them, but they couldn’t get over the cost to their pride and their reputation and their relationships if they said goodbye to all of that for Christ. And so they remained in unbelief. And they remained under judgment.

If you are in Christ, then praise God for his work in your life. 

If you are saved, then you have renounced hypocrisy and embraced what God says about your guilty condition. But there is still an allure in our hearts to put the mask back on. May this be a reminder of God’s grace to hypocrites who turn to him.

Taking off the mask is scary, but the alternative is so much better.

One of my favorite seasons in my walk with the Lord since coming to Christ was a period where I studying sanctification thoroughly for the first time. And I remember as I was learning how to battle sin encountering the principle of bringing sin into the light and it was terrifying to think about. I can remember arguing with it in my heart.

And then I encountered a line that crystalized the issue for me. It said to the effect of, “bringing your sin into the light is the last thing you want to do, but that’s the point. In the process of bringing sin into the light it doesn’t magically evaporate, but in the process, you are humbled and exposed, and it is from that place that you can begin to grow.

God loves to give grace to the humble.

A hypocrite believes that the worst evil is having their sin exposed and their reputation destroyed. The opposite is true. 

My prayer is that God will expose hypocrisy today, and that the glory of God would be compelling to our hearts.

Come find freedom in the light of the Gospel. And let God get glory and praise for his righteousness.