Now if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God; if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth – you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal?
The Jews were governed by the Mosaic Law, and Paul argues in this passage that what the Jews considered to be assets (i.e. relying on the law and their status as God’s chosen nation) became liabilities when there was no connection between profession and practice. The same principal that governed God’s judgment in Romans 2:1-16 applied to both the Gentiles and the Jews. Paul, once a self-righteous Jew, skillfully sets forth a series of questions addressing the issues of hypocrisy for the Jews who bragged about the law but dishonored God by breaking the law. (v.23) As I study this passage, I can think of so many ways I have dishonored the Lord by not obeying His Word. As you study this passage, consider ways that your profession of faith does not match the practice of your faith. Together, let us ask the Lord to soften our hearts so that what comes out of our mouths and how we live our daily lives will be in line with God’s Word.
I can see ways that what I profess I do not practice. Help me to line up Your Word with my life and give me a willing heart to follow You in both word and deed. Forgive my hypocrisy, and strengthen my resolve to be more like You.
In Jesus’ name, Amen