Don't Gimme No Lip!

Jesus’ Response to Hypocrites

by Pastor John Hamel


“Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draws nigh unto me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.”  (Matthew 15:7-8)


The religious hypocrites of Jesus’ day came to Him complaining.  Jesus’ disciples didn’t follow their foolish, religious traditions and they didn’t like it one bit.  No sir!  They tore into Jesus and He gave it right back to them, in firm love.  He rebuked them for not following their own traditions and called them a bunch of “hypocrites.”  He rebuked them strongly for putting their own manmade traditions before the Word of God and then compromising their own traditions as well.  They were greatly “offended.” (Matthew 15:12) 


He told them, in essence, “All you do is give me a bunch of lip.  You talk real religious-like but you don’t do what God wants.  You ACT like you’re holier than everyone else but you’re a big bunch of phonies.  You’re all talk and no action.  Don’t gimme no lip.  Gimme your hearts.”  


That hurt the Pharisees pride but Jesus did it to help them.  They were “self-righteous,” trusting in their feigned goodness to get them into Heaven.  Jesus was concerned because they were Hell-bound on a greased pole. (Matthew 5:20)  He loved them enough to tell them the truth.  Some religious leaders received His correction and were saved. (Matthew 12:42)  Others rejected it missing Heaven by a mile! 


Jesus is not looking for religious phonies who serve Him only with their lips, saying one thing and doing another. (Isaiah 29:13)  That’s called “lip service.”  It not only turns Jesus off, it turns everyone else off, too.  No one likes a religious phony that talks one way and lives another.  As a matter of fact, when Jesus called the Pharisees “hypocrites,” He used the Greek word “hupokrites.”  This word was used in the Greek Theatre and meant “actors.”  Jesus said the Pharisees were a bunch of religious “actors” who were going nowhere real fast.  They were just putting on a show and God wasn’t entertained by it.  Neither was Jesus! 


Do phony, religious “actors” who talk one way and live another turn you off?  Don’t blame Jesus.  He doesn’t like it either.  Have you been refusing to live for Jesus because “There are just too many Christian hypocrites”?  Have you been hiding behind the hypocrites as an excuse to not serve and obey God?  


You need to know this.  It takes an even “smaller” hypocrite to hide behind another hypocrite.  That’s pretty small.  You're bigger than that, aren't you? 


I always tell people who complain about Christian hypocrites, “Why don’t you just start being what you want everyone else to be?  That’s the solution to your problem.” 


Don’t refuse to serve Jesus because of a bunch of hypocrites -- actors who want to give Him lip service only.  Do what’s right in spite of them.  Give Him your heart.  


Say, “Jesus, You’re my choice.  Tell me what to do and I’ll do it with my whole heart.  I’ll become a standard bearer for You.  I promise not to give You a bunch of lip.  I’ll give you service, real service.” (Romans 10:13)


When you live for Jesus with your whole heart, things stop happening TO you and start happening FOR you.


Be Blessed … John and Barbara Hamel



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