Matthew 23:1-12 How To Live With A Hypocrite

by | Dec 14, 2023 | Matthew, New Testament

I. General Description Of Scribes & Pharisees

A. Hypocrites Vs. 13, 14, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29

1. Hypocrite– an actor or pretender; one who wants to conceal their real feeling/motives. Maybe insecurity, pride, selfishness, desire for approval, etc.
2. Not someone who professes to be a Christian, & then struggles to live that way
3. A hypocrite is someone who pretends to be someone or something that he isn’t

a. Acts godly externally, but is full of ungodliness internally
b. Acts loving, but is full of hate
c. Pretends to be humble, but is full of pride
d. Pretends to have agape love for someone, but has selfish love

4. Regarding the spiritual life, a hypocrite is a liar in words & deeds
5. NOTE– People sometimes say the church is full of hypocrites

a. What they often mean is that Christians don’t always behave like a Christian should behave
b. That isn’t being a hypocrite; that’s being a human, & a Christian who sometimes accidentally or willingly sins.

6. The definition: someone who pretends to be something that they aren’t

a. They pretend to be holy
b. They pretend to know or do know a lot of the Bible, but don’t follow it
c. They pretend to do spiritual things that they don’t, i.e. pray, witness, etc.
d. They pretend to not have any spiritual problems, to not struggle with sin
e. They pretend to love God, & care about righteousness, but do neither

B. Fools & Blind Vs. 16, 17, 19, 24, 26

1. Foolsmoros– foolish, impious, godless. Root of the word moron.
2. Blind– mentally blind, darkened by smoke
3. They have a knowledge of God’s word & ways, but do not see/understand the great truths contained within God’s word
4. They reduce the intentions of God’s word & ways to external actions, while never being touched by the intentions of God
5. They are outwardly godly, but inwardly godless
6. The result is a blindness in the intentions of God’s word, & the power of the Spirit of God bringing resurrection life within

C. 2 Timothy 3:5 “…having a form (semblance) of godliness but denying its power”

Quotable Spurgeon- page 344. The life of the hypocrite is utterly unsatisfying.

II. How To Live With Hypocrites

A. Recognize Whatever God Given Position They Hold

1. They sat in Moses’ seat. Recognize their God given position V. 2
2. Recognize the truth they might speak regarding God’s word V. 3a
3. Obey their words, in so far as those words are godly V. 3b
4. What are some modern day examples of this?

a. A carnal Christian husband

i. He has been given the charge of leading the home
ii. He may be insincere in his own walk; hypocritical
iii. In some areas, he may say the right thing for the family
iv. In other ways, he is a phony, & hurtful
v. A godly wife needs to do her best to submit & honor his position
vi. She should follow his lead unless it leads to sin or clear physical, emotional, or spiritual damage to family members

b. Also: carnal Christian child, parent or pastor
c. An example of respecting the office in spite of the person- Acts 23:1-5

B. What Not To Do

1. Don’t do what they do. V. 3c, d

a. Don’t fight Pharisee with Pharisee
b. Don’t do a “when in Rome” thing. “Since you do this, then I can too”

2. Don’t use spiritual knowledge to make life harder for others V. 4

a. Jesus’ yoke is easy & light (see Matthew 11:28-30)

3. Don’t use knowledge to gain admiration or advertise self V. 5

a. They abused the intention of Deuteronomy 11:18, Numbers 15:38-40

4. Don’t use sp. knowledge to gain advantage/recognition V. 6
5. Don’t use sp. knowledge to become popular & superior V. 7, 8a

C. Behaving Opposite Of A Hypocrite

1. Regardless of how much you know, realize it’s from Jesus V. 8b
2. Realize that you are not inherently superior to others V. 8c
3. Don’t inappropriately look up to any one person V. 9
4. Don’t claim superior position over others V. 10

a. Teachers are appointed by God Ephesians 4:11
b. The point is to not covet that title, & exalt yourself
c. Recognize Jesus as the Great Teacher of His people

5. Spiritual greatness is being a servant V. 11

a. servant- table waiter, one who obeys orders, unlike the S’s. & P’s.

6. Exalting & humbling V. 12

a. Exalts-to lift up. (We determine our greatness by exalting ourselves)
b. Humbles- to make low. (Jesus says we are great when we serve others)

7. The remedy- Humility: forsake the need of approval by others; if you are a Christian, realize that God’s unconditional love; if not a Christian, receive Jesus.