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The Discernment of the Hypocrite (Matthew 16:1-3)

Introductory Thoughts

The Lord commended the hypocrite for his discernment in certain areas of life but rebuked him for his lack of discernment in the most needful areas. As such, the hypocrite readily recognizes problems in others but remains blind to those same inadequacies within his own life. Though some might accuse the hypocrite of merely ignoring his own deficiencies, it is likely that he cannot discern the presence of these problems as they appear within his own life. This is most likely caused by the blindness produced by Satan. After all, Satan has no problem when a man finds fault in others so long as that man remains oblivious to his own failures. Without God’s help, the hypocrite will never discern that his hypocrisy is his problem.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): God sent the prophet Nathan to tell king David a story about a rich man who had wronged a poor man. David became angry and expressed his disgust for what the rich man had done. God was using the story to help David realize that he must confess his own sin (2 Samuel 12:1-7a).
  • (For everyone): How easy is it for you to find fault in others? What are some areas in which you have problems? Is it easier for you to see the problems in others than those that exist within your own life?
  • What are some areas in which you see problems in others but fail to recognize your guilt in the same area? Do you judge others more severely than yourself?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to help you repent of your own problems.
  • Ask God to give you grace in dealing with others.


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