The Mother of All Hypocrisy

Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” John 18: 28-31

Such hypocrisy. The Jews wouldn’t enter the Roman governor’s headquarters because they didn’t want to be ceremonially defiled. They had dinner plans that night. And the dinner was to commemorate their freedom from slavery in Egypt hundreds of years ago.

Ironic, isn’t it? They were celebrating God’s goodness, yet there they were, committing a grave injustice on an innocent man; an injustice that was far worse than what they experienced in Egypt. Didn’t anyone ever stop to think the grave irony they were doing?

But the mother of all hypocrisy was this: they wouldn’t get into the Roman headquarters for the sake of ceremonial purity. At the same time, they fully intended to kill Jesus as evidenced by their blatant admission to Pilate’s question. Why would murderers even care about ceremonial purity?

Years ago, I read a book (unfortunately I forgot the title) about high ranking German soldies who refused to smoke, drink wine and go to dances because they believed it was inconsistent with their faith in God. At the same time, these soldiers were the ones who operated the gas chambers and hauled off millions of Jews to their deaths.

What is wrong with the value system of these men?


Published by

Jojo Agot

Pastor at Victory. Teacher and writer at Every Nation Leadership Institute (ENLI). MA in Theology and Mission at Every Nation Seminary.

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