What Jesus Did! 'You Hypocrites!' — Matthew 15:7-9

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

[To the Pharisees and teachers of religious law, Jesus said:] "You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,
'These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship is a farce,
for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.'"
— Matthew 15:7-9 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus was sometimes not very subtle. His lack of diplomacy with hypocrisy was founded in the heart of God. In fact, Jesus is very hard on those who pretend to make God first in their lives and then do what they want. He even uses the "h" word (hypocrite) when it is needed!

God cannot stand it when we play like we're devoted to his will and then do what we like, want, or feel more comfortable doing. Only his will is binding. Only his will matters. Our preferences are simply that — our own preferences. They are generally neutral, unless we start replacing God's will with our preferences — or prejudices, traditions, opinions, ... It's easy to honor God with words, but he wants obedience so our character will be conformed to his own. To do less is to do wrong.

Today's Prayer

Holy God, please accept my worship, praise, and thanksgiving from a genuine heart seeking to please you. Please forgive me for my sins and restore in me a holy passion to pursue you, your will, and your character with all of my heart, soul, and might. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 23:1-4
  • Matthew 23:27-28
  • Galatians 2:11-14


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Illustration of Matthew 15:7-9 NLT — "You hypocrites!

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.