TRUST: Hypocrites Nullify the Word of God


According to Strong’s Concordance, the Greek word for hypocrite is hypokritēs (hü-po-krē-tā’s) which means one who answers, an interpreter, an actor, stage player, a dissembler, or pretender. Strong’s also conveys that hypokritēs primarily denotes “one who answers;” then, “a stage-actor;” it was a custom for Greek and Roman actors to speak in large masks with mechanical devices for augmenting the force of the voice; hence the word became used metaphorically of “a dissembler, a hypocrite.” It is found only in the Synoptists, and always used by the Lord, fifteen times in Matthew; elsewhere, Mark 7:6; Luke 6:42; 11:44 (in some mss.);12:56; 13:15.

At some point in our lives, most of us have either used the word hypocrite or heard someone use hypocrite to describe someone. We may not be familiar with the word dissembler. It is opposing meaning of resemble. Dissembler means to give a false or misleading appearance to; conceal the truth or real nature of. Dictionary.com defines hypocrite as a person who pretends to have virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc. that he or she does not actually possess especially person whose actions belie stated beliefs. TRUST: Hypocrites Nullify the Word of God in their own lives

No one can truly nullify God’s Word. What I mean by nullify God’s Word here is that people who are pretending to follow God’s Word do not allow God’s Word to create the change of heart, mind and character that the Word brings about in a person who applies the principles in God’s Word to circumstances in their lives. Let’s see how Jesus described it in Mark 7.

Mark 7

The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.)

So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?”

He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
    their teachings are merely human rules.’

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— 12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”

Jesus said, “you nullify the word of God by your traditions..” This was a reference to the Pharisees not truly honoring the father and mother as commanded in Exodus 20:12. The New King James Versions translates nullify as such “making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”” Rather than take care of their parents, the Pharisees wrongly used the Word to say I cannot use this money to assist you because that money is devoted to God. They were lying. They were acting deceitfully. When we fail to apply the principles in God’s Word to our lives, we are acting deceitfully. Jesus is saying to us that we make the Word have no affect in us when we pretend to live by the Word. This is a pity because one spends the time to look like he/she is following Christ but fails to actually take the matter to heart. The deceitfulness of man’s heart was presented in TRUST: What Defiles You?. To that end, Jesus is saying that hypocrites’ hearts will not be changed and will not be reflective of the principles outlined in the Word of God. TRUST: Hypocrites Nullify the Word of God in their own lives

Where are you? Are you one who fails to apply the Word of God to your life? Are you pretending to be of God, but your heart is far from being willing to consistently surrender your will to that of Christ’s? What traditions are you practicing that leads you away from following God’s Word. TRUST: Hypocrites Nullify the Word of God in their own lives and in the lives of those who follow them. Misleading people away from God is dangerous. Those who do will be held accountable for that sin (Matthew 18:6-9). Jesus went on to connect the hypocrite with one who is defiled or unclean. Why? Because, it is the heart of the hypocrite that is defiled. They hypocrite attempts to deceive, but it is the hypocrite that is truly deceived into thinking that God does not see the wrong in his/her heart. God’s Word is replete with examples of God showing that there is nothing hidden from God’s sight.

TRUST: Hypocrites Nullify the Word of God but only for a short timeEveryone, including the hypocrite, must give account to God. Listen to these references:

Matthew 12:36 – But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.
Luke 16:2 – So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’
Romans 14:12 – So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
Hebrews 4:13 – Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Hebrews 13:17 – Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
1 Peter 4:5 – But they will have to giveaccount to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

TRUST: Hypocrites Nullify the Word of God but only for a short time. Repent and believe the Good News about Christ as Savior and Lord.

You must TRUST God not yourself. Believe in His character, who He is, and His power, what He has and can do.
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