Too often we are hypocritical in our religion rather than sincere in our faith. Jesus' experience in Mark 12:28-44 highlights how the simple command to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind can be compromised when we let our concerns for how others perceive us leap ahead of living a life of radical trust in God.
A teacher of the law steps out to challenge Jesus but is himself challenged when Jesus turns the table on him by answering that the greatest commandment is actually two merged into one: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Lest there be any confusion, Jesus teaches against the hypocrisy of the teachers of the law, who are more concerned with their status before others than with the law itself. Then he sits down to observe a widow who gave all she had to God--an act of complete, obedient, humble, radical trust in the God who provides for all her needs.
In this sermon, I contrast hypocrisy and sincerity as seen in the teachers of the law and the widow. I encourage us to develop lives of radical trust together with the action that must flow from that trust.
Sermon: Hypocrisy and Sincerity (Mark 12:28-44)