Jesus uses the word “hypocrites” to describe his adversaries. The word comes directly from Greek. The prefix hypo means “under” and krites, “to judge”—the same root as yesterday’s word eilikrineia. A hypocrite originally meant an actor—someone who “judges under another character.” Later it came to mean a “pretender” and what we would come to understand as a hypocrite.
It is the sin that Jesus denounces the most. Words speak of holiness, goodness, worship, etc., but the real thinking that flows “under” is pride, arrogance, lying and pretense. Apparently, God is first, but really, the self is number one. Two commandments are violated—idolatry and false witness.
As you read the “woes,” is there any “under” areas of you that are false? As in yesterday’s reading, lift yourself up to God’s light.
What are these?
Doing what I say I’ll do v. 3
The greatest as a servant v. 11
“What you see is what you get.” v. 23
Like a hen gath’ring her chicks v. 37
This is the fifth of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
We continue reading the Gospel of Matthew.
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