Hypocrite or Follower?

Are you a hypocrite?  The word hypocrite comes from the Greek hypokritḗs which means 'stage actor', one who pretends to be what he is not.  I have teenagers and have worked with hundreds of them.  The word hypocrite gets thrown around like old spice in a navy ship before shore leave.  A lot of times, it is applied incorrectly, but most of the times the kids have got us dead to rights...we are acting like hypocrites. 

Are you a follower? The word follower comes from the Old English word folgere which means retainer, servant, or discipline. The actual definition states that it is a person who accepts or imitates the teachings of another.  The implication of this word is one who has a personal relationship with the teacher.

In the past few days, I have been contemplating the story of the Good Samaritan and the Passion of the Christ. 

In the story of the Good Samaritan, we see three characters approach a dying, bloody man.  Two of them, highly religious people, cross to the other side of the road to avoid defiling themselves with a dead body.  The third person, the Good Samaritan, was waylayed by compassion.  He got down in the dirt and  attended the dying man's wounds. He didn't stop there.  He then picked the man up, put him on his personal donkey, took him to an inn, and gave the innkeeper enough money to take care of his needs until he was well.

The religious folks walked away from their fellow, dying countryman.  The outsider, the Samaritan, walked toward his avowed enemy, got down, dirty, and expended himself to take care for his enemy's wounds. 

In the Passion of the Christ, we see Jesus, bloody beyond recognition, fall to the ground over and over again.  Three people come to his aid: Mary his mother, Simon, and Veronica.  When Mary comes to the aid of Jesus, he reaches out his blood soaked hand and touches her face. He kisses her and leaves a drop of blood on her lips.  He says, "See, Mother, I make all things new."  God told us that he would make all things new in Isaiah.  He told us that he would make streams in the desert.  He made it possible for us to have a relationship with God by spilling his blood for his enemies. Isaiah 43:19 NIV

When Simon is called to the aid of Jesus by the Roman guards, he first states that he cannot because he is an innocent man.  However, the Roman guards implore him by the Roman law that stated that they could make conquered nation's citizen carry their gear one mile.  Simon begrudgingly gets beside Christ to shoulder the burden of the cross, reminding the crowd that he, Simon, was an innocent man called to carry a criminal's cross.  As they struggle to walk, Simon begins to have compassion on Jesus.  He begins to see who the real condemned man really is.  He is shoulder to shoulder with Jesus, supporting him, pulling him up when he falls, getting bloody beside him.  Jesus told us to get messy for others, not just our friends, but strangers.  Jesus not only said it; he did it. Matthew 5:40-47 NIV

Jesus falls a third time.  At great peril and risking her own personal safety, as well as her family's, Veronica  brings Jesus a cup of water and wipes his bloody face.  You can see the fear give way to courage as she touches the Messiah's face.  His blood smears all over her hands and she wipes his face with a cloth.  Will we follow Jesus' example? 

In the end, we, as Christians, will be either rewarded for following the words of Jesus or cursed for being a hypocrite.  Matthew 25:35:40

Contemplate this:
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:16-18
Watch the Passion of the Christ:
Simon and Veronica

Listen to this song:
The Motion of Mercy by Francessca Battestelli

Courageous by Casting Crowns

Questions:
Do the teenagers have it right? Are you repulsing people with your brand of Christianity or attracting them by the light of Jesus?
Are you a watcher or a warrior?
Are you reaching out to help people or are you staying safe and undefiled on the sidelines?
Definitions cited from:
hypocrite and follower. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved March 01, 2012, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hypocrite http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/follower

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