Religion -- religious practices -- had become more important to them than acts of mercy and compassion. That’s why Jesus called them hypocrites.
We are hypocrites when our religion -- worship, holding orthodox beliefs, saying our prayers -- becomes more important than following the founder of our religion in our day-in-and-day-out actions of setting people free from whatever ails them.
A few weeks ago, we heard a similar theme, when Isaiah (1:10-20) reminded us that God has grown weary with “solemn assemblies.” Acts of worship are “an abomination” to God unless the people doing such worship are “seeking justice, rescuing the oppressed, defending the orphan, and pleading for the widow.”
This is the reason we encourage every membe…