My four year-old son came home yesterday from AWANA, a Bible club for children, with a little bear mask, which he thinks is pretty cool. This morning he approached me from behind and “scared” me–one reason why he thinks that the mask is cool.
In the ancient world, actors used to use such masks in their theatrical performances. It allowed the audience to imagine the actor as someone other than he really is. Do you know what word they often used to describe these actors? Hypocrites–those who pretend to be someone other than they really are.
There are plenty of those in the church who play the part of a hypocrite. When they come to church, they put on a mask and play a role. But, upon returning home or going to work, they take off the mask and play a different role. Jesus had some harsh words for hypocrites. He said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites” (Matthew 23:13, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29).
There is only one way to cure hypocrisy: be honest about your sin. The hypcrite pretends that he is better than he really is. The one who confesses his sin is real about himself and his sin, thereby disarming all accusations about hypocrisy. The good news is that Jesus will forgive all who confess their sins and trust in Him. We freely admit our guilt. And we freely accept His grace.
Do you see how crucial the cross of Christ is to solve our hypocrisy?