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THE MASKS WE WEAR
* “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites…”
* A number of things might pop to mind when we hear the word hypocrite.
Maybe it is a politician caught in a scandal.
+ Maybe it is a priest doing something counter to his preaching.
+ Maybe it is a scheming and conniving character in a soap opera.
* The word hypocrite comes from the Greek word hypokrites
which means “an actor or a stage player.”
The actors in ancient Greek theater wore masks
while playing their characters.
+ They interpreted the story behind their masks.
The Greek word took on an extended meaning to refer
to any person who was wearing a figurative mask
and pretending to be someone or something they were not.
➔ Eventually hypokrites referred to “someone who pretends
to be morally good or pious in order to deceive others.”
* The truth of the matter is that all of us wear masks from time to time.
On occasion we all play the hypocrite.
- Certainly I am conscious of that.
Every time I talk about taking up the cross and following Jesus,
I am confronted with the question of hos much faith costs me
and whether I am giving my all to the Lord.
The critics are right: the church is full of hypocrites.
- The more conscious you are of Christ’s call, the more you are
aware of how inadequate your own witness is.
* However, there is something else that needs to be said: Be careful
about judging other people by the masks they wear.
This is a different perspective on wearing masks.
For example, young people often try on many ‘masks’
as they seek to determine an authentic identity.
- Their clothes, their accessories, their piercings, their tattoos,
their language, their music – all these are masks.
Be careful of judging people on their outward appearance.
- We all wear masks of one kind or another.
* The scribe and Pharisees were wearing masks.
They were pretending a piety they did not possess.
?? Who among us had not done the same thing?
* Here is the important thing we need to see or remember:
regardless of the mask we wear, we cannot fool God.
➔ Regardless of what kind of mask we choose to put on,
God knows us as we really are.
- God sees our hearts. God knows our real priorities.
- God sees behind the mask.