Re:Verse passage – Matthew 6:5-13 (day three)

“They love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men.”

Jesus had witnessed the Pharisees’ public theological oratory and prayers. It didn’t do anything for him. Reaching for a way to describe what he saw as spiritual theater, Jesus came up with “actor,” which is what “hypocrite” originally referred to in the ancient world. “What you see there are Academy award-winning performances,” Jesus might as well have said, “but it certainly isn’t true intimacy with God.” Jesus knew that people have pretty good phoniness detectors. They likely already knew that what they saw was often hogwash. But hey, what’re you gonna do? Jesus’s revolutionary teaching declared that they could find God without these thespians. He showed the way to raw, risky, and real life with God through genuine prayer.

Author: Bryan Richardson

Bryan Richardson is the Associate Pastor for Counseling and Pastoral Ministries at FBCSA.

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