Hypocrisy. To engage in the same behavior that you criticize someone else for doing. We are probably all guilty of it at some point in our life. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth of others. It has probably done the same for you…
In this week’s text we find the group of folks that had already decided to kill Jesus (Mark 3:6) accuse Jesus of something horrible:
But the teachers of religious law who had arrived from Jerusalem said, “He’s possessed by Satan, the prince of demons. That’s where he gets the power to cast out demons.” Mark 3:22
The accusation here was that Jesus was in league with the devil and used our enemy’s power to gain a crowd. They admit He is powerful but deny the source of His power. They have earlier accused Him of blasphemy for saying He forgave sins (Mark 2:5-7). They have now done the exact thing they have accused Him of doing…they have blasphemed God.
As Jesus deals with this group, we see a cure for the hypocrite. Jesus removes the mask of falsehood from them and reveals truth. He uses logic and reason to show them clearly that they are in the wrong. He does this while being patient and showing love.
To approach a person who is critical or hypocritical you must carefully reveal their error with sound facts. To do that can be difficult enough (these folks still didn’t like it when Jesus did so) but to do so without love will be fruitless 100% of the time.
As we look further at the next verses this week you will see some wonderful stuff. Don’t miss that Jesus dealt with His enemies with grace and love. He gave the cure for hypocrisy. It was up to them to receive the cure or not. Likewise, do we have areas of our life that could be hypocritical? Does we judge others for engaging in behavior when we engage in similar behavior? This is not a behavior that a follower of Jesus should continue in.
I pray this is a great week for each of you. It will be full of opportunities for you to walk your talk. It will be full of chances to show Whom you follow. It may put you in close encounters with the occasional hypocrisy. How will you handle it?