Beyond the Weekend

August 25 | Actors

August 25, 2021


When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. Matthew 6:16

Read: Matthew 6:16
Matthew 6


The Pharisees are the most respected religious leaders in Israel. Strictly following every detail of the law, they are the “gold standard” for being a devoted follower of God. What they do makes a difference for everyone who is trying to be obedient to God’s law. So Jesus’s listeners are stunned when he calls them hypocrites.

It appears that Jesus is the first to use the word “hypocrite” in this way. Living close to the city of Sepphoris, Jesus possibly worked on the rebuilding of their theater. In the first century, a “hypocrite” was a stage actor, a performer who wore masks to portray different characters. In calling the Pharisees hypocrites, Jesus is saying, “Don’t be like them.” They look one way on the outside, but the inside is entirely different. They are putting on a mask through the way they act.

We, too, can mask what’s in our hearts. We chase after approval and hide what’s really going on in our hearts. But the good news is that God sees through our masks to what’s really going on (1 Samuel 16:7). It’s good news because God knows us better than we know ourselves. It means he is pleased when our motives are pure and is ready to help when they’re not. We can take off our masks with God.


Removing a mask can be challenging. You might need the help of someone else or a group of people. If you don’t know where to start, email us at to begin a conversation. We can connect you either to an individual or a small group to walk with you and help you in this process.


Join us this year as we read through the New Testament.

Today’s reading is Galatians 6.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.

You Might Also Like