Sermon #51                                                                  Series: Mark


            Title:               “Knowing Their Hypocrisy”

            Text:               Mark 12:13-17

            Readings:       Office: Ron Wood  Auditorium: James Jordan

            Subject:          The Pharisees’ and Herodians’ Question

            Date:               Sunday Evening - May 24, 1998

            Tape # U-69b



            The Scriptures declare that we who follow Christ are and must be crucified unto the world. That man or woman who believes on the Son of God is and must be dead to the world.


“‘How is the believer dead to the world when he lives in the world, works a regular job, raises a family, and owns property in the world?’ A young student asked his Bible teacher this same question. The teacher sent him out to the gravesite of a friend with instructions to criticize the dead friend, harass him, and find fault, and then praise him with glowing terms and brag on him to excess. Upon his return, the teacher asked, ‘What did your friend say when you criticized him?’ ‘Nothing.’ ‘How did he react when you praised him?’ ‘It made no difference to him; he is dead!’ ‘That is what it means to be dead to this world,’ said the teacher. Its APPLAUSE means nothing and its HATRED means nothing. We neither ADMIRE the people of this world nor do we FEAR them. The riches of this world are but the fancy of fools, and the honors of this world mean little or nothing; for to be a child of God is the highest calling. The religious traditions and ceremonies of the world have no attraction nor meaning when CHRIST IS ALL! That which was once important to us we now consider loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ, our Lord. This spiritual life in Christ cannot be explained; it must be experienced.”

                                                                               Henry Mahan


            No one so thoroughly and constantly exemplified this deadness to as he who came to do the will of God and always did the Father’s will perfectly.


Proposition: Our Lord Jesus Christ was dead to both the flatteries and the abuses of the world; and if we would follow him and do his will we must be as well.


            We see a clear example of the Savior’s deadness to the world in his dealings with the Pharisees and the Herodians in Mark 12:13-17.


(Mark 12:13-17)  "And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words. (14) And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? (15) Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. (16) And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's. (17) And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him."


            I want to show you five very important spiritual lessons from this passage. May God the Holy Spirit be our Teacher. May he be pleased to graciously and effectually apply his Word to our hearts for the glory of Christ.


I.      Lost men and women, who despise one another, will always unite in opposition to Christ and His Gospel.


            The Pharisees were religious fundamentalists, superstitious ceremonialists, self-righteous moralists. Religion was their life. They lived to go to church and do religious stuff.


            The Herodians were mere worldlings. They had absolutely no use for religion. They cared no more for the honor of God (His Name, His Will, His Glory) than for the life of a maggot.


            Yet, when the Lord Jesus Christ came preaching the gospel, the Pharisees and the Herodians were united like blood kin in the common cause of opposing him. Both the religious crowd and the worldly crowd despised the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ, as Christ himself preached it and personified it.


            That is the way it has always been. That is the way it is now. And that is the way it will always be, as long as the world stands, until Christ makes all things new. The cross of Christ is an offense to unregenerate men, both religious and irreligious.


(Galatians 5:11)  "And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased."


(1 Corinthians 1:17-24)  "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. (18) For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (19) For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. (20) Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? (21) For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (22) For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: (23) But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; (24) But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God."


            All lost men hate God and the gospel of Christ. All despise those things revealed in the Gospel…


·        The Inspiration and Singular Authority of Holy Scripture.

·        Divine Sovereignty.

·        Total Depravity.

·        Salvation by Grace Alone.

·        Unconditional Election.

·        Limited Atonement.

·        Irresistible Grace.

·        Perseverance of The Saints.


II.   These Pharisees and Herodians stand before us in this text as glaring examples of the brazen boldness of hypocrisy.


            No one is more confident, bold, or arrogant than that person who is an utter hypocrite. He never openly shows his true colors. In order to cover his hypocrisy he has a bold, brazen, outward pretense of sincerity. Can you see this in verses 13 and 14?


(Mark 12:13-14)  "And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words. (14) And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?"


            When they could not find anything in his own doctrine or conduct for which to kill him, these proud hypocrites thought they could out smart the Son of God and trick him into saying something with which to accuse him. They began by flattering him as a man who was…


·        True, Sincere, Faithful and Honest. “Thou art true.”

·        Unmoved, Unimpressed, and Uninfluenced by Power. - “and carest for no man.”

·        Beyond the Reach of Bribery and Intimidation. - “Thou regardest not the person of men.”


            But the Lord Jesus was much more than a mere man. He was and is the omniscient God, before whom all things are naked and open. He knew their hypocrisy and caught them in their own trap. .


(Mark 11:15-17)  "And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; (16) And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. (17) And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves."


            No one in this world is more subtle and deceiving than a religious man or woman who hates God.


III. There is no greater, more effective snare, by which both God’s People and His Servants are apt to be Ensnared than overmuch concern about the cares and controversies of Civil Government.


            Our Lord would not allow himself to be drawn into the trap of political wrangling and worldly strife. We cannot be too careful about these things.


(Psalms 37:1-5)  " Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. (2) For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. (3) Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. (4) Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (5) Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."


            This is what I am saying. I wish I could say it to every gospel preacher in this world. But I can and must say it to you and to myself. We must not allow ourselves to be overly concerned about the things of this world.


·        The Politics of It.

·        The Pleasures of It.

·        The Riches of It.

·        The Opinions of It.


            It is my prayer that my God will indeed crucify me to the world and the world to me. Yet…


IV. Faith in Christ an Obedience to him is never a justification for any of us neglecting our God given responsibilities in this world.


            Our Lord Jesus commands us to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s. That simply means that it is the responsibility of all men to both worship God and to be responsible, productive citizens in this world.


            The fact is, those who truly do worship God are the very best, most responsible, dependable, productive citizens in every generation.


V.    Many marvel at Christ and his doctrine who never believe.


            The last sentence of our text reads, “And they marveled at him” (v. 17). The same thing often happens today. Frequently, men and women are impressed with a system of doctrine, the abilities of a preacher, a church, or a group of people. They attach themselves to us, but not to Christ. They marvel for a while, but never come to trust the Son of God.


            Salvation is something more than being impressed with and marveling at Christ. Salvation is knowing him and trusting him. I am not interested in impressing you. I want you to know Christ. Without him, you are without life, without forgiveness, without righteousness, without God, without hope. Why will you perish? Why will you die? Come to Christ and live forever. God help you now to come to him. The Lord Jesus Christ himself bids you come and promises to receive you, save you, and keep you, if you come to him.


(Isaiah 1:18)  "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."


(Isaiah 55:1-3)  "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (2) Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. (3) Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David."


(Isaiah 55:6-7)  "Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: (7) Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."


(Matthew 11:28-30)  "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."


(John 6:37)  "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."


(John 7:37-38)  "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. (38) He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."