John came to show you the right way to live. And you did not believe him. But the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. You saw this. But even then you did not turn away from your sins and believe him.

~Matthew 21:32, NIRV


Being genuine is the foundation of integrity.

~Danielle Laporte

In Matthew 21-22, the JRE {Jewish Religious Establishment} is trying desperately to find fault with Jesus. Their plan is to arrest and execute Him but first they want to discredit Him in front of the people. First they sent the politically minded Herodians on the tax issue and of course they failed. Then the very liberal Sadducees tried to trick Jesus with the story of seven brother being married to the same woman but Jesus embarrassed them. Actually the Sadducees made a fool of themselves. When the Pharisees realized that the Sadducees had failed miserably, they got together and sent a Scribe {Lawyer} to question Jesus on the law and of course he too failed.

Jesus knew what they were attempting to do and He said to them, “You pretenders, why are you trying to trap Me?” I like the NIRV’s translation of hypokritēs {hypocrite} as ‘pretenders’. The word hypocrite comes from the same word meaning to act on stage, to play a part. It literally means to wear two faces. Actors in the Greco-Roman world were not highly esteemed or paid. Sometimes one actor had to play many parts and they did this by wearing mask. A hypocrite was literally an actor who wore more than one mask. Someone who pretended to be someone he was not.

Did you see a correlation between Dr. Smith’s message Sunday morning and Joe David’s message Sunday night? There was one and I hope you did not miss it. Dr. Smith’s message in a nutshell was: [1] We all sin [2] We all have problems [3] We are all tempted to mask our problems and pretend that we don’t have any problems and [4] We should all be honest, admit we do have problems and then seek help. Sunday night Joe David was open and honest about his own personal sins. He was real. He took off the mask. There was a line of folks waiting to talk to him after the service because people can relate to us when we are real.

The Jewish Religious Establishment was not real. They were a fraternity of pretenders. They had opportunity after opportunity to repent at the preaching of One infinitely greater than Jonah and they refused. They didn’t even get to Dr. Smiths first point: they refused to acknowledge their sin. Do you know folks who are anxious to talk about other people’s sins {problems} but never willing to talk about their own? They are wearing a mask. They are pretenders who need to repent and get real but they are enslaved to their pride. Who are you kidding? Jesus knows the real you and others know far more than you realize. Aren’t you tired of pretending? Isn’t it time to get real?

Old Gregg did pretty good yesterday and is probably hurting pretty bad today. It will be a rough month ahead but he is tough.

On the light side, I was getting ready to go to hospital and June fixed me a sandwich about 10:45, then I went to brush my teeth and reached for the tooth paste. I noticed it was a smaller tube but assumed June had gotten a second tube because I keep one in the shower where I brush my teeth {once a week whether they need it or not}, I put the paste on my brush and starting brushing. My first thought was: Wow, June and picked up a strong minty flavor, really strong, so strong it is hot. I picked up the tube to see what brand it was and it was icy hot. I hit the mouth wash hard and more than once but I was breathing fire for a while. Carrie Beth says I am ready for the home.

Doc Holladay’s temporary feeling came out with a piece of Werther’S Sunday evening. I hinted for a second filling yesterday but she said, “No Bro. Jack, you need the root canal.” Sister is making me an appointment. I prefer a root canal to a double knee replacement. I’ve been ministering to the Holladay family for over 30 years and most of my hospital visits have been for Dwight and Sarah. I have never, not one time, ever visited Traci’s family that she didn’t have to buy my lunch or give me gas money. Yesterday, I was determined to go and come without any compensation but low and behold she bought my lunch. By the way, Darlene is going to work at Gregg’s Grocery. I bet you didn’t know that Floyd.

Last night was the first DHS graduation I have missed in 38 years.

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