- Category: Chapters
- Hits: 18787
Accordingly Jesus departed and went up to Jerusalem. And on the sabbath day he entered into the temple, and began to teach the people. Whereupon the people ran together to the temple with the high priest and priests, who drew nigh to Jesus, saying: 'O master, it hath been said to us that thou sayest evil of us; therefore beware lest some evil befall thee.'
Jesus answered: 'Verily I say unto you, that I speak evil of the hypocrites; therefore if ye be hypocrites I speak against you.'
They answered: 'Who is a hypocrite? Tell us plainly.'
Said Jesus: 'Verily I say to you, that he who doeth a good thing in order that men may see him, even he is a hypocrite, forasmuch as his work penetrateth not the heart which men cannot see, and so leaveth therein every unclean thought and every filthy lust. Know ye who is hypocrite? He who with his tongue serveth God, but with his heart serveth men. O wretched man! for dying he loseth all his reward. For on this matter saith the prophet David: 'Put not your confidence in princes, [nor] in the children of men, in whom is no salvation; for at death their thoughts perish": nay, before death they find themselves deprived of reward, for "man is," as said Job the prophet of God "unstable, so that he never continueth in one say." So that if to-day he praiseth thee, to-morrow he will abuse thee, and if to-day he willeth to reward thee, to-morrow he will be fain to despoil thee. Woe, then, to the hypocrites, because their reward is vain. As God liveth, in whose presence I stand, the hypocrite is a robber and committeth sacrilege, inasmuch as he maketh use of the law to appear good, and thieveth the honour of God, to whom alone pertaineth praise and honour for ever.
'Furthermore I say to you, that the hypocrite hath not faith forasmuch as if he believed that God seeth all and with terrible judgment would punish wickedness, he would purify his heart which, because he hath not faith, he keepeth full of iniquity. Verily I say unto you, that the hypocrite is as a sepulchre, that without is white, but within is full of corruption and worms. So then if ye, O priests, do the service of God because God hath created you and asketh it of you, I speak not against you for ye are servants of God; but if ye do all for gain, and so buy and sell in the temple as in a market-place, not regarding that the temple of God is a house of prayer and not of merchandise, which ye convert into a cave of robbers: if ye do all to please men, and have put God out of your mind; then cry I against you that ye are sons of the devil, and not sons of Abraham who left his father's house for love of God, and was willing to slay his own son. Woe unto you, priests and doctors, if ye be such, for God will take away from you the priesthood!'