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Jesus & The Hypocrite

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Last Week

We talked about some very specific behaviors that were effecting the spiritual practicum of the Jewish People
The Jewish leaders had been applying God’s Word in a very:
Distorted
Skewed
Warped
Selfishly Driven manner
The Leaders of Israel had taken the law, and created their own interpretation
Put it into book form and called it the Talmud
In this book they would layout in detail all the intricacies of the law
According to their understanding of God
Not according to God himself.
Jesus, in his genius, begins re-educating the disciples and the crowd about the validity of the law, and the way it must be interpreted.

This Week

Jesus is not only re-educating us on the practicum of our spiritual beliefs and our spiritual journey
Br
He will be pointing out somethings that should make us self aware of our motives
What should we be thinking about as we study this section of scripture?
Why do we do charitable deeds?
Why do we fast?
Why do we pray?
What about stuff?
Where should our heart reside in our practice of our faith?

Read

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

Jesus is continuing to expose the heart of every spiritual behavior under the sun
Like we said last week
The reason why Jesus is speaking against certain things, is because these things were actually present
They were very much a part of the spiritual ethos of the day
What Jesus was trying to do is bring awareness of these poor behaviors
The crowd, the disciples, the community
Where very active in participating in charitable deeds
They saw the poor and wanted to do something about it.
They saw a need and jumped at the opportunity to serve God in meeting practical needs
In fact, looking at different manuscripts
We see that this verse was also said in this way
“Take heed that you do not PRACTICE YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS”
What this is telling us is that Charitable Deeds were very much a part of the culture.
Generosity was a thing that flourished and actually fueled the spreading of the Gospel in the book of Acts
How people practiced their righteousness was through Charitable giving both of time and resources
Like any good thing, it can be distorted and be rendered idolatrous when our motives are rooted in selfishness instead of self-lessness
Jesus counteracts this tendency by exposing the root of this issue
Jesus knew that the reason why many were practicing their righteousness publically was because they wanted to draw attention to action instead of the motive.
It wasn’t about meeting a need
It was about status
It was about receiving the praise of men
It was a practice that yearned for mans attention
That begged for an earthly reward instead of a heavenly focus.
Jesus warns them,
If this is your motive
Just know that you have stripped yourself from the reward that comes from the Father.
Jesus goes on to give the crowd very practical advice
When . . . referring to something that should be happening amongst Jesus People
You . . . a very personal and direct command.
Do a Charitable Deed . . . Actively serving and giving to the mission of God
Do not sound a trumpet before you . . . Do not grab the attention of others before you do so
Here is the kicker
As the Hypocrites do both in Church and in the Streets . . .
Jesus, in this verse is bringing to light a couple things
There are hypocrites in Church 1.0
The Church 2.0 should not be like the Hypocrites
Jesus knew there had to be a distinction between the church that existed and the Church that would be His bride.
One of the main differences between the two would be the motives and the reasoning behind their actions
Those looking for the glory of men
Those looking for an earthly applause
Those in search of a standing ovation
Would have their fill here on earth
But for the Real Church
When we do a Charitable Deed
When we Practice our righteousness here on this earth
Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing
Do it in such a way that even your own members have no clue why you do what you do
Do it in secret
That the Father who sees in Secret
That the Father who knows your heart and your motives
Would reward you publically in the way that He chooses.
Church, there is a very real difference between where people were at and what Jesus desired of them
Those who knew better had become Hypocritical
Those who had no clue needed a real example to model their life after
Jesus, in this sermon is seeking to correct the Hypocrites and give hope to the hopeless.

5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name.

10 Your kingdom come.

Your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts,

As we forgive our debtors.

13 And do not lead us into temptation,

But deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

The Command here is “When you Pray”
Church, prayer isn’t a last resort
It should be very much a part of our Spiritual Rhythms
Within this Rhythm there are some things that should and should not exist.
Jesus says that in our prayer life “You shall not be like the Hypocrites”
So what is it like to pray like the Hypocrites?
They Love praying standing in the synagogues
They love to pray standing in the corner of the streets
Here is the motive:
That they may be seen by men
Their whole reasoning in regards to prayer is so that men would see their piety and be in awe of their “reverence.”
The praying posture is not much of a big deal
That was normal
The venue wasnt that big of a deal either
It was strictly their motives
That they may be seen by men
This is why they prayed
They were more interested in what people saw, than what they were saying.
Jesus wants us to do it a little differently
He says
Go into your room
Shut your door
Pray to the Father who is in the Secret Place
Do not use vain repetitions as the Heathen do.
Instead
Acknowledge the fact that your father knows what you have need of before you even ask
If He knows, there isn’t a need for vain repitions, there is only room for genuine petitions.
Pray in a secret place, that your prayers may be answered publically
Pray in the secret and the quiet place
That what you prayed for
May be brought to light publically
In fact, here is the way in which you should pray
Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name
When we pray we must acknowledge who God is
We must acknowledge His Dwelling Place
A Place that Jesus is preparing for us
A Place that is surrounded by His Glory
A Place from where He rules and reigns.
We must acknowledge the Holiness of the name of our God Yahweh
May His name be held in Reverence
The Name of God Himself:
Revered is your name
Himself as revealed and manifested amongst Humanity
Because of Who He Is . . . we can then continue to pray in this way
Your Kingdom Come, Your will be done, On Earth as it is in Heaven
#2 We must bid His Kingdom Come
We must be welcoming and ushering in His will into this world
As He rules and reigns in Heaven
As He is building His Kingdom
God, may you have your way in us
God, may your will be done
God, as your will is flourishing in Heaven
So let it be here
As everything is submitted to your authority in Heaven
So let it be here
As you rule and reign in Heaven
So let it be here in our hearts
In our families
In our Churches
In the workforce
Now that we’ve acknowledged who He is and what we wholly desire
We can not only pray specifically
But we must admit our necessity
Give us this day our Daily Bread
Lord, you are Jehovah Jireh
You are our great Provider
Because man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
We ask that you provide for both the physical and the spiritual necessities
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors
Church, in order for us to have the right posture concerning these prayers
We must not only acknowledge who God is
But who we are
Sinners, indebted to Grace and Mercy
Sinners asking for a forgiveness that they have not earned or could work for
Sinners, asking for the miraculous to happen in the form of forgiveness
It is in the asking of forgiveness that God the Son’s purpose is manifested
It is in the confession of our guilt that God the Son’s identity flourishes
It is in our spiritual necessity that we find God the Son Sufficient
Because God the Father found HIs Sacrifice as Sufficient.
But thats just half the story
Church, as a Forgiven People
As a people who have found the greatest source of forgiveness
As a people who have found a Great Redeemer
As a people who God has reached
We should be champions of what we have found in Christ
But not just in telling others what we have found
But in demonstrating what we have found when we are sinned against
Putting on display the characteristics of Christ
By applying them to real time situations in our lives.
Church, we do a great job of asking for forgiveness
But we must also do a great job in extending forgiveness.
Lord, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one
What does this mean?
Can God lead us to be tempted?

13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone

What Jesus is saying here is that we should be asking for is this:
God, prevent us from heading into a place where we are easily tempted
Lead us away from the places where we are easily tempted
Deliver us from the evil one

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

In order for us to pray correctly we need to know our position in the Kingdom
Remember, He is teaching us how to pray
He is teaching us how not to be a hypocrite
He is teaching us how to have a correct posture in everything we do.
You want to know what the Kingdom of God looks like?

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

We are a bunch of forgiven people
This is what the Hypocrites of today don’t take into consideration
Hypocrites
Don’t forgive
They never repent
They forget who God is
They forget who they are, their original intent
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