– You are a hypocrite! – Have you ever heard that expression? Usually whoever says that is very angry. But, what is hypocrisy? A mistake, a lie, a deception? – Do you think it is serious to be a hypocrite? Yes? No? Today we are going to see how Jesus reacted to hypocritical people. We will tell you this story that you can read again in chapter 13 of the book of Luke. Are you ready? Let’s go!
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Full text of this story :
JESUS IS NOT DECEIVED?
For Jews people, Saturday is the Sabbath; do you know what that means? They just must not work, it’s a day off; they gather at the synagogue to listen to the Word of God and to pray. So that Saturday, Jesus was in the synagogue and he was the one who was reading. Everybody was listening carefully. They liked listening to him because He would explain well the texts from the Old Testament, the Psalms, the book of Moses; He would speak about the love of God, about his holiness and his patience. The head of the synagogue was there with religious men, scribes, priests. They were listening as well in order to keep an eye on everything he was saying; they wished He was wrong because they were jealous of his success among the crowd. There was also a little lady. She loved God and believed in Him. She was so bent over; she couldn’t straighten up at all. She has been suffering with the spine! Can you imagine! Eighteen years, how long it is! Children were often making fun of her; sometimes she was pushed around. Inside the synagogue, no one would pay attention to her and she did not make any sound so that no one notice her; but she listened very carefully. Suddenly Jesus stopped speaking because he saw her: – Woman, come here, and be healed from your infirmity! He laid his hands on her, and she immediately stood up straight. She shouted: – Glory be to God! Glory be to God! I’m healed! Look, I can lift my head! I can look at you, see your face! Look like I stand straight, I am no longer in pain! Glory be to God! People were amazed by the power and the love of God and rejoiced with her. Were they all rejoicing? No not all! Some men grind their teeth, they were very angry, not happy with the fact Jesus has just healed this woman. Do you know why? They didn’t want to recognize the person who had just did this healing as the Son of God. They wanted to throw him out of the synagogue but they were afraid of how the crowd would react. So, they have shown their anger in another way. The head of the synagogue stood up: – There are six working days, then come and be healed during those days and not the day of the Sabbath! – Hypocrite, said Jesus, tell me, on the Sabbath day, what do you do when your ox or your donkey is thirsty? You untie it, you bring it to the watering hole and you make it drink. You do not hesitate to do this because the animal is yours and it is your best interest for him to be in good health; and yet, it’s just an animal! And this woman who is a true believer, a woman of faith, who has been sick for eighteen years, just because it was the day of the Sabbath, I was not allowed to heal her? So you would have prefer leaving her in her condition? You hypocrite! The head of the synagogue, and those who agreed with him, turned red with shame but the people rejoiced and praised God for his power and for his compassion towards those who suffer. – Glory be to God! Glory be to God! They said while returning home, we have seen glorious things!
1, 2 3, 4 AND YOU AND ME! By healing this woman on the Sabbath day, do you think that Jesus disobeyed the commandments of God? Of course not! He knew the lives and thoughts of those wicked and hypocritical men who used to teach the people their own laws but would not put those into practice. They did not care about other people’s problems and had no compassion for the sick, for the unfortunate. They said they served God but did not obey him. They were secretly doing what they forbade others to do. They were fake person. Have you ever seen masked people? Well, they were like if they were hiding behind a mask, but Jesus unveiled their duplicity, their hypocrisy. We can pretend … but actually it is all fake. I really encourage you to always be true, true to yourself and true to the others.
4, 3, 2, 1 AND WE PARENTS! Many parents are busy with all kinds of things and hobbies. Therefore, they no longer see what is going on around them. The heart becomes less sensitive, even insensitive, to the misery around and to the others’ needs. While keeping the appearance and the language of faith, they no longer live according to the principles of the bible. The bible is to be lived within the family first, and with the children watching. When our life matches with our words, they understand what we say is the truth. This story reminds us of the importance of checking our hearts before God so that we won’t deceive oneself, as well as our children and the others. So as not to deceive ourselves, our children and others.