“In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
As we begin our new teaching series “I Quit!” one of the big challenges I think Jesus is going to put before us is HYPOCRISY.
The temptation to say one thing, but do another. To appear one way on the outside, but to be another way on the inside. To be one person on Sunday and at Growth Group, but to be a completely different person with friends or at work. To sing praise songs to God on Sunday, but to give no indication at work or in class through your words or actions that you are a follower of Jesus.
The word HYPOCRITE comes from the Greek theater. A hypocrite was a Greek actor. Growing up, Jesus lived in the Jewish town of Nazareth…which wasn’t very far from one of the bigger Greek cities in the area that would have had a theater. Perhaps Joseph and a young Jesus were hired to work on one of those theaters, and perhaps they got to see a show or two.
Greek actors (or hypocrites) wore masks on stage. Onstage, they appeared one way, but offstage, the mask came off and revealed who they really were.
When Jesus was confronted with religious people who appeared to be one way on the outside, but really weren’t making God happy with their life – He made the connection with the Greek actors who wore masks. He called them hypocrites!
If you will stay with us through “I Quit!” – I believe Jesus is going to challenge you to remove hypocrisy from your life (He’s already challenging me). He may ask you to ask you to stop wearing masks – and to start living out your faith at work, at home, at school, and with your friends.
In Matthew 5:16, Jesus says let your life “shine” so that everyone who sees you will recognize God in you and be drawn to Him. Take the mask off. Let the world know you love Jesus and let them see it through your words and actions.
In God in the Marketplace, Henry and Richard Blackaby describe it this way… “It was as if Jesus was asking his Father to put a magnifying glass over his life so people could take a close look. When people scrutinized Jesus’ life, he wanted them to come away impressed with his Father. And they did!”
Can you pray that prayer today?
God would you put my life under a magnifying glass? Would you put my life in a place where people will look at the way I live and talk and act and treat others – and are drawn to You and want You in their life?
Will people look at the way you and I live our lives at work and outside of church and “praise your heavenly Father” because of it? Live the kind of life where your co-workers, classmates and even family look at you and know what a godly woman or man looks like!
God is challenging me to take off the mask too. Join me – it promises to be a freeing and empowering way to live!
Kerrick Thomas is the Pastor of The Journey -Manhattan and is leading a 7am Men’s Growth Group this Fall. Kerrick and his wife Lorie have been married for 15 years, live in East Harlem and have 3 children – Hudson (6) and Jackson and Sydney (4 year old twins).