I’M A BIG HYPOCRITE
Get Some Hygiene
April 6, 2014
Christianity is the world’s largest religion. Yet, it’s not really about religion at all. What it’s really about is a relationship with Jesus.
In this message, Ed Young unpacks a confrontation in the New Testament where Jesus talks about the difference between religion and relationship. He shows us how a life of hypocrisy can actually keep us from understanding the power of a relationship with God. And we discover that when it comes to a relationship with Christ, it’s more about our heart than about any list of rules.
Wow! I can’t believe you’re here! I mean we had the trifecta this weekend! The National Championship, NASCAR, and nasty weather. Give yourselves a crazy round of applause for being here. I’m impressed. I almost didn’t show up myself. But Lisa elbowed me in bed this morning and she goes, “Ed, you’re the pastor of the church. Get up and go to church.” So I’m here. Man, thanks for being here. Y’all doing all right? OK.
I want to welcome all of our different locations. We have a number of locations. We’re one church in many locations and you might be going, well, how do you do that? We do that through the miracle of technology. So right now we’re being seen in London, England, down in the magic city, Miami, Florida, we have two campuses there. Our online campus, that’s cool. What’s up, guys? Plano, Texas, Downtown Dallas, Park Cities, Keller Southlake, Fort Worth, and right here in gorgeous Grapevine, gorgeous Grapevine.
You know, speaking of college basketball, I played college basketball for Florida State University, and I’ve got some funny stories about the Seminoles, especially some stuff that happened back in the locker room. You know, we had some real shenanigans going on back behind closed doors. We had a guy, a teammate, who was not very fond of taking showers, after the game or practice. And finally some of the guys on the team had had enough and they looked at him and they yelled this across the locker room:
“GET SOME HYGIENE, MAN! Get some hygiene! At least run some water over your body. Get some hygiene!” And that’s the title of today’s message: Get Some Hygiene, man. Get some hygiene.
Turn to your neighbor and say that. Get some hygiene. Get some hygiene. Get some hygiene. Get some hygiene. Get some hygiene.
Jesus had a lot to say about hygiene. And he looked at a hunk of hypocrites in the gospel of Mark, chapter 7. And he looked at them and said in no uncertain terms, get some hygiene, man! Get some hygiene! Because the whole issue was over hygiene. I’ve been talking about hypocrisy.
We are in a series called, “I’m a Big Hypocrite.” And we’ve all admitted it. Because here’s the funny thing about being hypocritical. We cannot be hypocritical before God, only each other. So just say it, and say it like you mean it. 1-2-3. I’m a big hypocrite. 1-2-3. I’m a big hypocrite. Yeah, for some that’s the first time you’ve ever admitted the obvious. You’re not shocking God. God is not going, “Whoa! I didn’t know that! Whoa, there’s a hypocrite! Wow!” No, God knows it all. Yet our shams and cover-ups, our masks are there for people. We like to wear a mask. The original word hypocritos comes from the Greek stage. It means to wear a mask. Actors and actresses would carry masks around. Comedy, tragedy, they would hold masks and they would act like someone they weren’t.
Isn’t it interesting that we pay people tens of millions of dollars to act like people they’re not? Oh, man! What a great actress! She acts like someone she’s not! And we film it. Oh, he’s so talented. He can act like a lot of people he’s not! Could it be that hypocrisy runs rampant? Could it be in your life and mine that we have a bout regularly with hypocrisy? Well, Jesus is saying this. Get some hygiene, man! Get some hygiene!
Because there were a group of hypocrites, the Pharisees. They left Jerusalem, J-town, and Jerusalem was the Vatican of the day. They followed Jesus around and his posse, his boys, the disciples. And all they wanted to do was find fault with Jesus. Here’s what happens in my life and in your life when we’re hypocritical.
#1, we criticize. Let me say it again. When you’re hypocritical, when I’m hypocritical, or when someone lives by just the hype of hypocrisy, we’re into criticism. These people followed Jesus around and his disciples around, just to criticize them. And their whole argument, the Pharisees, these hypocrites were looking at Jesus and his disciples. And they had some hygiene issues with Jesus.
Now you’ve got to laugh. They said,
“Hey, Jesus! We’ve noticed that when the disciples eat they haven’t washed their hands!” That is hilarious! These deep, spiritual leaders were worried about handwashing. “Hey, Jesus! Whoop! You messed up! Your disciples aren’t washing their hands before they eat.” How many times have we heard that? How many moms even here are going, “I say that all the time! Baby, have you washed your hands? Go wash your hands! Don’t eat before… wash your hands… we’re in a restaurant… wash your hands. Wash your hands! Wash your hands!”
The University of Minnesota did a study on handwashing in public restrooms, might I add. And they discovered only 5% of the population washes their hands correctly. Now don’t think, oh the disciples they must’ve been really dirty. I can’t believe they were just walking around eating without washing their hands. It doesn’t have to do with that. These people, these hypocrites, got on the disciples. They were jumping on Christ’s case because the disciples were not washing their hands the way the Jewish tradition taught them to wash their hands. You see, these hypocrites, these Pharisees, were living by the Mishnah and the Mishnah had over 35 pages just on how to wash your hands. How jacked up is that? Here’s how they did it. This is crazy.
These hypocrites, they would hold their hands upward, their fingers pointed to Heaven. Someone would pour water down their hands and it must drop off the wrist correctly. That was stage 1. Stage 2, they would turn their fingers downward, pour water, and they had to drop perfectly. Then they would take their fist and grind it into their palm. And then, if they got the A-OK from step 1, step 2, and step 3, they were washed up. That’s the hygiene issue? Jesus is like, “Man, you’re worried? You’re gonna tell me about my boys? You’re gonna tell me that they’re not going through all of that? You’re worried about that when we’re talking about eternity? When we’re healing the sick, we’re putting families back together, we’re making a difference. You’re gonna talk about that?” Wow. That’s so convicting.
When I’m hypocritical I am hypercritical. Matthew chapter 7, verses 4-5 Jesus said, “You’re gonna look at the speck in your brother’s eye – in your brother’s contact lens – and you’ve got a crossbeam (that’s what the word literally means) in your own eye.” And so often as we’re hypocritical we can build the entire structure of our lives with this crossbeam of hypocrisy. And here’s what I’ve discovered. When I point out the speck in other people’s lives, usually the stuff I point out in other people’s lives is the crossbeam in my own. So, this is convicting, isn’t it?
So don’t worry about, “Oh, I’m gonna listen for my friend. I’m gonna listen for my husband. I wish my friend, I wish they hadn’t have gone to the race today. I wish… I’m gonna tell them to watch this online.” I know it’s tempting but think about your own life. Hypocrites, we have this tendency, don’t we, to look at the speck and to miss the crossbeam. And normally the speck we point out in other’s lives is that giant sequoia tree in our own. So I’m gonna ask you, what do you criticize in other people’s lives? Oh, they’re materialistic. Oh, they’re greedy. Oh, they’re so lustful. They’re so angry. What do you point out in other’s lives?
Lisa and I wrote a book a couple of years ago about marriage. In fact, we’re going to Pascagoula, Mississippi in a couple hours to do a talk about marriage to a church. Then tomorrow we’re doing a round-table with about 70-some-odd pastors as we continue to spread the great things that God is doing right here at Fellowship Church all over the place! Isn’t that cool? But this book that we wrote, it’s called the Marriage Mirror. Here’s the thesis of this book:
When you get married (I’ve been married for almost 33 years), when I look into Lisa’s eyes I see reflected back who I really am. And as a sinner and as a hypocrite, I can go speck-hunting very quickly. I mean, we’re in Texas. “Deer season, turkey season, bow hunt, and shotgun… I love to hunt.” Well, that’s fine. If you like to hunt, good for you. But I would say speck-hunting is in season 24/7, especially in marriage. You know what I’m saying to you. I mean, even the best marriages, there are certain things maybe he does that just drives you crazy. It’s a little thing. There’s something that she does. The way she blows her nose… “Aaahhh!!!! Stop blowing your nose!” just a little bit. And that’s part of marriage and we laugh at that. I hope we do. But here’s where it gets scary. I go speck-hunting, I look at Lisa or you look at your spouse, and if we’re not careful as we hunt those specks down we’re really pointing out stuff we don’t like about ourselves. Because our spouse reflects who we really are. And the reason marriages are busting up at a record pace is because we see the hypocrisy in our own lives reflected from our spouse. Hello. And then we’re like, I don’t like that so I’m gonna trade it in for a newer model. A richer model. A cooler model. But then after a couple of years the same thing happens and you see who you really are and it’s like, I don’t like that. It’s so interesting. We’re critical when we’re hypocritical. We’re hypercritical.
Mark chapter 7, verses 1 and 2, let’s go back. “The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were unclean.” That is unwashed, and we know that’s just a crock. You criticize, you criticize. The woman caught in adultery, they’re getting ready to throw rocks at her. Jesus said, “Oh, OK, you can go ahead and throw rocks if you’re not a sinner. If you’re not a big, fat hypocrite.” And they dropped the stones and bolted. You without sin… yeah. Whoa. So I’ve gotta worry about my own stuff, my own life, this crossbeam in my eye, not the speck in my boss’s eye, my friend’s eye, the trainer’s eye, the teacher’s eye, the coach’s eye, etc. So I think you’re feeling me. When I criticize I am hypocritical.
Not only am I hypocritical, not only do I criticize, also notice this in verses 5-6. I question a lot. I question a lot. These Pharisees, these hypocrites, they were questioning Jesus. You could say they cross-examined Jesus, if you wanted to stay with the alliteration vibe. They cross-examined him. They questioned. Always watch out for people who say why? Why, why, why, why, why? Why, why, why, why, why….. Sounds like whining, doesn’t it? Are you a why-guy? Watch out for the whys! Very quickly put a why NOT! But why? Hypocrites always are questioning motives.
When I have an opportunity to talk to leaders like I’m going to tomorrow morning for about 4-5 hours, I’ll tell them this: Your friends don’t need an explanation. Your enemies won’t believe one. So don’t waste your time chasing down every question. Because I thought about this. Twenty-four years ago if I had sat down and answered every question about the whats and the whys and the hows of Fellowship Church we would still be in that little art center seating 300 people instead of being in all these locations, having all these people. It’s great to question. We have to ask questions, but what is the tenor and the tone of the question. If you’re a hypocrite it’s about being critical and mean-spirited and negative. Their minds had already been made up about Jesus. They didn’t dig him. They didn’t like the disciples.
Mark 7: 5-6, “So the Pharisees (and remember there were 6,000 of these religious guys, not all of them were bad but some of them were hypocrites), so the Pharisees, the teachers of the law, asked Jesus, ‘Why… why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders…’” Handwashing, ceremonial handwashing, the Mishnah, etc. “ ‘…instead of eating their food with unclean hands?’ He replied (this is Jesus), Jesus goes,
‘Let me go old school with you guys just for a second. Let me just address the question. Even though I know you won’t believe it, I know you won’t get it, just let me talk to you. Remember my boy Isaiah, back in the OT, the Old Testament?’ Here’s what Isaiah said. Jesus said, ‘Isaiah was right. I mean the guy was right. He was spot on when he prophesied about you hypocrites. As it is written: These people honor me with their lips <rewinding sound effect> but their hearts are far from me.’” What is Jesus saying here?
Guys, it’s not about clean hands, it’s about a clean heart! It’s not about washing your hands, it’s not about water and all that stuff, it’s about a clean heart! Because only the blood of Jesus can cleanse our hearts! Get some hygiene, man! Get some hygiene! Questioning and questioning and questioning and questioning and questioning and questioning! Wearing masks. Saying one thing, doing another.
What if I said this. I love NASCAR. You know what, last night we had one of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s pit crew here, one of the main guys here. It’s pretty interesting, isn’t it? We have all sorts of neat people to come to Fellowship Church. I don’t want to call him out and name drop but we have a lot of interesting people. Anyway, this guy was here and he was like, “Man, thanks for mentioning Dale Earnhardt, Jr.” I mean, he said that word to me. But what if I said this? What if I said this: I love NASCAR but I hate racing. No, listen to me. I love me some NASCAR <vrooming sound effects> but I don’t like racing. I don’t like Dale Earnhardt, Jr. I just don’t like coming it. I don’t like the speed, I don’t like it. But I love NASCAR. You’d be like, Ed, have you lost your mind? If you like NASCAR, if you say that with your lips, I mean your whole being is gonna be about NASCAR! Am I going too rapidly for anybody here? You got it.
I meet people all the time. They go, “Man, Ed. I’m a Christian…” OK, that’s awesome. “Aren’t you…? Your name sounds familiar a little bit. Are you a pastor?”
“Yeah, I’m a pastor.”
“Well, I’m a Christian!”
I go, “That’s great! You’re a Christian!” and I try to keep the conversation going. I go, “Where do you go to church?”
“I just… you put me on the spot. Let me think. The Baptist of St. Mattress Cathedral, Tabernacle of Pentecostal… oh, what’s the name of that…?”
You hypocrite! You gonna tell me you love Jesus and you’re not a member or part of a church? You’re disobeying about 30 commands right up front from the New Testament if you’re not a part of a church. Find me someone in the New Testament who is not a member of a local church. You can’t do it. Then I will say,
“Well, you don’t know the name of your church, who’s your pastor?”
“Uh, he’s this guy who blinks a lot. He has a mullet and a globe turning around. And he always says, ‘A-mayen!’ Is it pastor Os-teen?
“No, no, no! That’s Joel Osteen! He’s not your pastor! He’s in Houston!”
“Oh, OK. Well…”
It’s hilarious! Most people I talk to tell me, “Oh, I’m a Christian!”
“Who’s your pastor?” Deer in the headlights. So see, if you’re a Christian, if I’m a Christian, three things are gonna take place. It’s very simple.
#1 – I am going to serve in the body of Christ. If you’re not serving you’re swerving. In other words, if you’re not serving you are living the life of a hypocrite. Now we all have moments of hypocrisy, but I’m talking about the lifestyle now. If you’re not serving here you are a hypocrite. I’ll just say it. If you’re not a member of a church, an active member, our bodies have members and the church is the body of Christ. If you’re not a member of a local church you are a hypocrite. If you’re not bringing (not giving) 10% of what you have to the local church. If this is your church or whatever, you are a hypocrite. God is not gonna bless your life. It’s not gonna happen. Don’t get mad at me, get mad at God. Get mad at Jesus. I’m just telling you what the Bible says. If you’re not sharing your faith, we have what? About a jillion Easter services coming up and you’re gonna tell me you’re gonna come alone and not invite someone? You’re gonna tell me you’re gonna come alone and not invite someone who’s going to Hell? You gonna tell me you’re not gonna invite someone? You’re a hypocrite!
Now, technically, let me say it again. I’ve gotta be politically and homiletically correct. All of us have moments of hypocrisy, but I’m talking about if you’re not doing those three things you’re living a lifestyle of a hypocrite. So that’s between you and God. I can’t make you do it, I’m just telling you what it is.
So as a hypocrite, man I criticize (#1), but #2, I question. And when you have authority issues, friend… when that’s your whole vibe and you have authority issues… whoo! Just bring a tissue.
#3 – If I’m a hypocrite, if I’m living this lifestyle of the hype of a hypocrite I live a life of compromise. Compromise. So I criticize (if you want to stay with the alliteration). I cross-examine. And then I compromise.
Mark 7: 14-15 and 17-19, “Again, Jesus called the crowd to him and said, ‘Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside of man can make him unclean by going into him…’” He’s gonna give us an anatomy lesson. “‘Rather, it’s what comes out of a man that makes him unclean.’ After he had left the crowd and entered the house his disciples (this is funny!) asked him about this parable. And Jesus said, ‘Are you so dull?’” Guys, you don’t get it? The word dull, I love this word, it means your ears are stopped up with wax. It’s great. Earwax. I know a lot about earwax. I have to get my ears irrigated every three months. The doctors, when they irrigate my ears, my doctor’s like, “I have never seen this much earwax in my life!” and he will call the nurses over, “Look at this earwax! It’s a girl!” I mean, they’re giant! That was gross. But it’s horrible! So Jesus is like, guys, do I need to irrigate your ears? You don’t get it! From the outside, in doesn’t do jack. It leaves your body! The issue is from the inside, out! It’s not external hygiene, it’s internal hygiene. Get some hygiene! Get some hygiene.
“ ‘Are you so dull? Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him unclean?’” For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body. Hmm… Compromise. Jesus puts the high beams on compromise.
Here’s what some of the Pharisees were doing, these hypocrites. There was something back then called the law of Corban, which meant the Pharisees said, here’s how they got around helping their parents out. This is horrible. Everything I have is Corban, is dedicated to God. So Mom and Dad, I’ll kick you to the curb. I’m gonna disobey one of the Big 10, the 10 commandments, honor your father and mother, because of Corban. “You hypocrite!” That’s what Jesus said to these guys. “You’re doing all these gymnastics to get around the truth of God.”
“Ed, you know marriage is just a piece of paper. We’re playing house. We’re having sex outside of marriage but technically God looks at us as one.” You hypocrite! You’ve gotta be kidding!
“Well, you know I give a little bit to the United Way, I drop a little bit into this Christina college and I sponsor this missionary.” You hypocrite! I mean those things are fine but they’re not the church. Jesus didn’t build them.
“Well I serve for other nonprofits and I’m going on this trip and…” Good. Rah-rah-rah. Go team, go. You hypocrite. I will just get a little way around this. I’ll kind of do some gymnastics and I’ll just compromise.
“See, I like to go to different churches. What’s hot and what’s not. I will go here and I will go there.” You hypocrite! This is strong stuff. You’re not gonna see this again on a coffee mug or a t-shirt or in some Christian bookstore. It’s not gonna be embroidered on some pillow you have on your couch. Get some hygiene, man, get some hygiene! Who in here needs some hygiene? All right. That’s what Jesus said. There should be a warning label on this text. Good night nursery school!
#1 – When I’m hypocritical I criticize.
#2 – I question.
#3 – I live a life of compromise. I almost told the truth, I just left out a little bit.
Oh, let me tell you something! I almost forgot this! This is scary. Back in the New Testament there was this couple, Ananias and Sapphira. And basically it was kind of like a giving campaign in the church. This is in the New Testament. And this one dude, he sold some land and has given all the money to the church. And these people, Ananias and Sapphira, were like, “Oh, I want to do that! Because the crowd will love me. They’ll applaud. They’ll go, ‘Whoa! You sold some real estate and gave it all to the church. That’s great, man.’” So they said, all right. The land sold and we’re gonna give it all to the church. I’m sure the church said, “Amen! Man these are great spiritual giants!” but the back-story was they kept some for themselves. They said, “oh, we’re giving it all!” but they kept some, a lil’ sumpin-sumpin for themselves. You know what happened to them? Bop! Bop! They were killed in church by God himself. I’m just quoting the Bible, don’t get… I’m just telling you what the Bible says. God does not jack around with hypocrisy. Wow! Strong! Compromise… compromise.
#4 – When I’m hypocritical I contaminate situations. I contaminate my marriage, I contaminate my kids. Man, my kids can read hypocrisy in me so fast it’s scary! They have this, like, hypocrisy-hunting chip. <radar blipping sounds> Hypocrite. Hypocrite. Hypocrite. Hypocrite. Dadwhatyousaidwashypocritical. Hypocritical. Whoa!
Mark 7: 20-22, he went on. This is Jesus. “What comes out of a man is what makes him unclean.” All right. Well from within, “Out of a man’s heart, comes evil thoughts (whoa, what a laundry list), sexual immorality (that’s sex outside the marriage bed), theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, ludeness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly.” So, we’re not talking about external compliance, Jesus is driving at. We’re talking about internal reliance.
When sin is minimalized the cross is trivialized. I’m a natural-born sinner, so are you. I can’t just say, “Oh, I’m gonna turn over a good leaf. I’ll be better.” In my heart of hearts I’m fallen and fallible.
You know our main campus here has a lake. Have you seen our lake here? Anybody been by the lake? If you haven’t been by the lake (today it’s kinda rainy), our lake is unreal. We’ve got a walking path around it, prayer garden area, and we’ve got some crosses overlooking the lake. And our early morning sunrise Easter surface will be at the lake, lakeside. And I’m trying to preach from a boat. We’re trying to work that out. That’s a whole ‘notha level. Anyway… so I found myself walking around the banks of the lake. And it was kinda hot and I wanted some shade. So I found some shade and then I looked up and said to myself, “I’m in the shadow of the cross.” I’m in the shadow of Calvary. I’m in the shadow of forgiveness and mercy. I’m in the shadow of confession. I’m in the shadow of power. I’m in the shadow of purpose. I’m in the shadow of authenticity. I’m in the shadow of where I can be real and raw. Because Jesus paid the price for our sins. He paid the price for hypocrisy. He shed his blood to cleanse us and he’s simply saying, “Get some hygiene, man! Get some hygiene!” Does anybody here need some hygiene? Does anybody here need some cleansing? Does anybody here need some forgiveness? Does anybody here need some power? Does anybody here need a clean conscience? Does anybody here need Jesus?
No one moving or stirring as our heads are bowed, it’s time for many of us here to do business with God, to make a decision that I cannot make for you. I’m just one beggar telling other beggars where to find bread. You can receive the Bread of Life right now by praying this prayer. Here’s the prayer, just say it to yourself…
[Ed leads in closing prayer.]