“Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’ ” (Matthew 15:7-9).
Jesus comes across as quite emotional as He quotes from Isaiah the prophet in condemning the scribes and Pharisees here. Actually, this incident is not as forceful as when He speaks about the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23.
The picture in both incidents is urgent and beyond misunderstanding: Jesus wants those who follow Him to be convicted in their hearts about Him. All service to Him is to be real and without hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy means simply to say one thing and do another—telling people they should live by one set of principles but not practicing the same set of principles ourselves. The context is about religious matters, but the application covers the spectrum of our lives.
To live in such a way destroys our relationship with God and Jesus but also it destroys our potential influence among those with whom we come in contact every day. Conviction and honesty are the key to our spiritual success with God and with our fellows.