READING: Genesis 19-20; Psalm 1; Mark 7
Let these words of Jesus to the religious leaders of His day sink in: “He answered them, ‘Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me’” (Mark 7:6). Apparently, the religious leaders followed well their spiritual rituals and traditions. If their righteousness had been evaluated on their adherence to their rules, they would have been most righteous—but they missed the Son of God in the process. They were, in Jesus’ words, hypocrites who were elevating their own traditions to the level of doctrine.
These words Jesus spoke about His opponents remain a challenge for us today. It’s easy to speak the right language, do the customary rituals, and go through the motions of following Christ, yet not truly know Him. It’s even possible to be a leader among God’s people but still have no personal relationship with Him. We then play the role of a Christian rather than actually be a Christian. That kind of “lip service” to God is never sufficient.
May God through His Word and His Spirit affirm that we have a genuine relationship with Him today!
PRAYER: “Lord, I don’t want to be a hypocrite. Help me.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Genesis 21-23 Psalm 107; Mark 8