Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law." The Jews said to him, "It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death." — John 18:31, ESV
Here is the question that first came into my mind while reading this verse: why is hypocrisy so obvious to everyone except the hypocrite? Think about it: hypocrisy seems to be the last thing on the mind of the hypocrite, unless to look at the life of another and point out their hypocrisy. But the personal hypocrisy of the hypocrite is always overlooked by the hypocrite. How does this happen?
Remember: the religious leaders in John 18, had already had Jesus arrested and had been questioning him. The main thing was this: they wanted Jesus dead. They had been plotting how they might get rid of Jesus for so long, but in the verse above they say that it is not lawful for them to "put anyone to death."
In technical terms, they would not be guilty of killing Jesus. That would fall on the Roman government. However, the religious leaders of Jesus' day were guilty of hypocrisy, so much so that they missed the coming of the Messiah and actually had him nailed to a tree to be crucified.
After I wrote the above question in my Bible, I wrote the following prayer underneath that: "Jesus — please slap me down when hypocrisy shows up in me." I do not want to be known as someone who lived a life of hypocrisy. Rather, I want to live a real and dependent life on Christ so that there is no pride left in me that hypocrisy could bunk with. And here's the truth: if you can't admit that you live the life of a hypocrite at times, you are probably the hypocrite that you so easily judge and condemn as unacceptable.
Think about it: no one admits to being a hypocrite. However, if every person on the planet were not a hypocrite, then things would be completely different and hypocrisy would not exist. But all of us are hypocrites. We all say one thing and then do the opposite. The key remedy: admit and confess it. Then entrust yourself to Christ. Then confess your weakness and that you are being tested. Then: rest and enjoy your new life.
Jesus - please, no hypocrisy in me. May I be completely genuine as you are completely genuine.