Marks of a Hypocrite

Our Lord’s most frequent word to describe the Pharisees was “hypocrites” (cp. Matthew 23:23-25) and we can get some insight about this description by examining the account of plucking grain on the Sabbath and healing on the Sabbath in Mark 2:23-3:6.

First, a hypocrite has a critical mind (Mark 2:23-28). The Pharisees were critics and nit-pickers. They were looking for the smallest sins in the lives of others to criticize (Matthew 7:1-2; Romans 14:4).

Second, a hypocrite has an accusing eye (Mark 3:1-2). The Pharisees watched Jesus carefully in order to accuse Him. They were secretly hoping that Jesus would heal this man, so they could have reason to complain.

Third, a hypocrite has a hardened heart (Mark 3:3-5). The Pharisees would not answer Jesus’ question as to whether it was right to heal on the Sabbath, but within they were resisting Jesus. The man’s needy condition did not move them with compassion. This angered and grieved Jesus!

Fourth, a hypocrite has a destructive tongue (Mark 3:6). These people very quickly went out and took council to destroy Him. They sat in synagogue looking pious, and as soon the assembly was over, they were out to attack a man for doing good on the Sabbath.

It is really sad that you and I often fall into the trap of being hypocrites. It usually happens when we judge others, and do not consider our own faults. Romans 2:21 says, “Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?”

Kyle Campbell