Luke 20:1-8 New Living Translation (NLT)
Hypocrisy is a big thing with God. Let’s define hypocrisy as the pretense of having a virtuous character that one really does not possess. Scripture teaches our God knows the motives of the human heart; God knows my heart, your heart, all hearts. So, hypocrisy is seen very clearly by God when we enter into it even if we think we are successfully hiding behind a virtuous mask.
In our passage today, the religious leaders pretend to care about God’s reputation, but inside their motive is really to trap and accuse Jesus of blasphemy. They care more about saving face with people than being authentic and transparent with Almighty God. Note that Jesus is aware of their deceptive tactics—pleading ignorance—and he outshines them with his wisdom, insight, authority, and holy character. When you and I live from a loving heart—love for God and for our neighbor—God knows the truth and he causes us to shine with his integrity. Choose integrity over hypocrisy. By the way, the remedy for hypocrisy is to know God knows you; therefore, it is wiser to tell the truth.
Luke 20:1-8 The Authority of Jesus Challenged
20 One day as Jesus was teaching the people and preaching the Good News in the Temple, the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders came up to him. 2 They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?”
3 “Let me ask you a question first,” he replied. 4 “Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?”
5 They talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn’t believe John. 6 But if we say it was merely human, the people will stone us because they are convinced John was a prophet.” 7 So they finally replied that they didn’t know.
8 And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for knowing my heart and helping me each day to identify any unholy tendency in me that would speak against the Truth. May the meditation of my heart and the words of my mouth please you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.