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Sermon Notes

Matthew’s Themes

  • Jesus is the King
  • We are part of Jesus’ new kingdom
  • Jesus teaches us how to live in this kingdom

Hypocrite – (ὑποκριτής)- an extension of an actor in a play, (not found in the NT), implying arrogance and hardness of heart, utterly devoid of sincerity and genuineness; to feign or pretend to be something you are not.

The one thing Jesus taught against repeatedly:
Hypocrisy (and Matthew records several teachings on this subject)

  • 5:46-47 (loving only people who are like you)
  • 6:1-3 (giving money to get honor)
  • 6:5 (praying to get recognized)
  • 6:16-18 (fasting to get recognized)

In one of Jesus’ final public teachings he blasted powerful people who abused their authority (23:1-39)
Jesus Raw and Unfiltered (from the seven woes)
Hypocrisy Replaces Care with Rules
Hypocrisy is at its blindest when its focus on rule-following pushes out care for people (23:23-24)

If you had hidden sin but deep seated pride, Jesus called you out.
If you had public sin but deep seated humility, Jesus helped you up.

Jesus Gives us the Solution to Hypocrisy with Two Statements:

1. Jesus warns us about making full and final pronouncements against someone else (7:1-2)

  • Contrary to Jesus teachings on mercy (5:7, 6:12)
  • You are always missing information
  • You are always lacking context
    Literally: “with the judgement you judge you will be judged”
    So be careful about closing your mind on other people because of their faults.

2. Jesus tells us to direct our inspection in another direction—inward.

  • You can be helpful to others, once you’ve been critical of yourself.
    So, be careful to open you mind about your own faults

Action Steps

  • Admit and confess your hypocrisy
  • Identify people you have judged before
  • Do some plank searching

Discussion Questions


  1. In this section of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus taught, “Do not judge or
    you will be judged.” (Matthew 7:1, NIV) Why is it much easier to judge
    others than it is to judge ourselves?
  2. This scripture passage is the 5 th time in the Sermon on the Mount that
    Jesus dealt with hypocrisy. He also taught about it in Matthew 5:46-47,
    6:1-3, 5, and 16-18. Why do you think it was such an important theme in
    Jesus’ most famous sermon and throughout his ministry?
  3. Jesus’ statement in Matthew 7:3 about looking for a speck of sawdust in
    someone else’s eye while ignoring a plank in our own is an example of
    extreme hypocrisy. Why do you think most of us be petty with others while
    being blind to our own sinfulness?
  4. Matthew 23 suggests that the more powerful we are the more susceptible
    we are to hypocrisy. Most of us are powerful in some area, whether it’s our
    home or our work. How can we guard against falling into the trap Jesus
    warns about?
  5. When keeping rules makes us feel superior to others, we are in danger of
    missing out on what really pleases God. Reflect on times in the past when
    you have focused on God’s rules rather than a relationship with God. What
    negative results occurred in your life because of that mistake?
  6. What safe guards can we put in place that will help us better obey Jesus’
    command to focus on where we mess up instead of where others fail?


  • Ask a trusted friend to help you identify areas you tend to be blind to your own sinfulness?
  • Ask God to forgive you for these areas of sinfulness ask him to help you overcome these sins.
  • Are there people you have judged harshly whom you need to ask for forgiveness? Make a list of them and this week ask them to forgive you.