Today we can’t go anywhere without seeing a sign that reads “please wear a face mask”. We read signs like 6 feet apart, fill out this form, take your temperature…You know it’s for your safety and the safety of others. Stand here, wrong way! Follow the arrows, sanitize before entering, sit here, do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?
Oh what a wretched man that I am!
I feel like I need to break out in song…
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?
Then the ultimate shaming!
Jesus would have worn a mask!
What if I told you…
Truth be told, we have been wearing a mask long before COVID 19 hit.
Would Jesus have worn a mask?
He was without sin, 1 Peter 2:22. Without Hypocrisy!
But, what about you and me?
Who is the hypocrite?
Hypocrite is ὑποκριτής hypokritḗs (hoop-ok-ree-tace’) (hupokrites from hupó = under, indicating secrecy + krino = to judge) the statement and answer, the dialogue, describes one who acts pretentiously, a counterfeit, an actor, stage player, a man who assumes and speaks or acts under a feigned character. A hypocrite is someone who pretends to be something he or she is not. a dissembler, a pretender.
William Hendriksen writes this…A hypocrite says one thing but means something else. He pretends to do one thing but intends to do another. He is play-acting, dissembling. He is hiding his real face under a mask.
The word hypocrite occurs here again and again. Originally the Greek word hupokrites (Greek #5273) meant one who answers; it then came to be specially connected with the statement and answer, the dialogue, of the stage; and it is the regular Greek word for an actor. It then came to mean an actor in the worse sense of the term, a pretender, one who acts a part, one who wears a mask to cover his true feelings, one who puts on an external show while inwardly his thoughts and feelings are very different.William Barclay’s Daily Study Bible
- Are you a pretender?
- Do you wear a mask to cover your true feelings?
- Are you putting on an external show for all to see?
- Do we see who you really are?
- Are you loving with hypocrisy?
If you answer yes to any of these, you need the apostle Paul’s help in Romans 12:9… he writes… “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.”
What does without hypocrisy mean?
Without Hypocrisy is anypókritos (ἀνυπόκριτος)(an-oo-pok’-ree-tos) this is easy, literally the opposite of being a hypocrite. it means without play-acting, without playing the part, or without hypocrisy. You are not masking around, you are not pretending to love someone or care for them. Are you pretending to be someone or something that you are not?
Paul says Let love be without hypocrisy. I did a whole series of posts on 1 Corinthians 13 The Love Chapter. So I won’t get too detailed here. You see we as Christian should not be wearing a mask. A believer should not masquerade around pretending to be what they are not.
That was Judas, Right? He pretended a devotion to Jesus just to gain his own selfish purpose. He was a lover of money and his hypocrisy was unmasked and made evident to all when he betrayed Jesus for the thirty pieces of silver.
Paul said Let your love be without hypocrisy. Love with hypocrisy is an oxymoron and not sincere love. When you wear a mask of love as a Christian that mask is lined with hypocrisy. Christian love is not merely lip service but action too.
The Apostle John writes in 1 John 3:18…Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. And Jesus says in the gospel of John…“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35.
How do you love without hypocrisy? Follow Paul’s words in Romans 12:9-21… Let love be without hypocrisy begins 20 commands towards Christian brotherhood. The following verses can not be separated from Romans 12:9.
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. 20 “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Are you wearing a mask?
Take it off!
Follow Paul’s words to love others with pure and sincere love, without hypocrisy, free of selfish motives, and agendas. Remembering that the love being commanded here is a love for all people, for the lost as well as for your brothers and sisters in Christ.
* Emphasis Mine, Pictures Not Mine