Matthew 11:16–19; Matthew 12:22–28; Matthew 21:23–27

Authenticity is appreciated. Hypocrisy is condemned. That is nothing new.

What is more, the issue than even whether something is ed authentic or hypocritical is when something is declared such (either way). Both Jesus’ and John’s ministries could have been declared authentic. With both men, you got what you got.

By Jesus’ own words we see how each of them approached their ministry was quite different. Jesus wasn’t making a comparison. It was an observation.

John followed a historic precedent by wearing a hair shirt and eating cakes of locust and honey. This certainly wasn’t a requirement, but a number of ed Jewish sects (the Essenes, for example) followed this sort of price.

Other than preaching and miracles, Jesus ed more like one of the guys. He went to parties. He hung out with people.

Two very different takes.

The religious leaders had problems with both and attacked both for their prices.  In the case of John, it does seem somewhat risky as the prices were followed by ed people. Jesus’ prices were pretty , and yet they were challenged, too.

Both men were accused, basiy, of being false, and different measures were used to condemn or disregard them.

We see the real intent (as if we didn’t know) with the exorcisms that Jesus performed. The Jewish leaders accused Jesus of being in league (if not in the house of) the d. He was doing the same thing they were, but because it was Jesus, it must be the d.

We can reasonably infer that there was nothing John or Jesus could do while remaining ful to their ing, that would satisfy the religious leaders. That is a sad indictment. When religious price and s find nothing of value in fully filled ings, it puts price, , and even in question.


Holy Spirit, help us to be ful to your on our lives. Help us to set aside prices and s that inhibit fully fulfilling our . Guide us also into and , especially through others, so that we do not deceive ourselves. Amen.


1) Have you ever experienced a tension between something you were taught was “right”, but seemed to go against your ing? How did you resolve it?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.