series: (co)re values

title: ten:character

teacher: Jacob Bender

date: December 3, 2017

scriptures: Matthew 25:31-40, Matthew 6:1, Proverbs 20:6, 1 John 1:9-10

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this line right here… “in order to be seen” 

This is a reference to the theater.

a better translation here would be: “in order to be a public show for them.” 


In that day, theater had really begun to take off… about 500 years before Jesus there was a man named Thespis… he is where we get the word “thespian” from… a word we still use today for an actor.  Many people believe Thespis to be the first person to actually stand on a stage, and play a character that was different from who he actually is in real life…

but acting, of course, has come a long way since the days of Thespis… in those days, theater was usually ONE person who would stand on a stage, and play the role of several different characters merely by wearing masks, and switching out the masks. 

And do you know the word was for an actor in that day? You do if you have been here even a little while… 


translated in English as “hypocrite.” 

Which actually means “an actor or a stage player”


So Jesus tells us, when you do good, don’t be like the Pharisees, who only give as a way of putting on a show in order to impress and gain leverage over others. What Jesus is doing here is he is saying that, when he looks at what people are doing WITH these works of righteousness, to him, “it looks like theater.” It is not real. Its not the real them. They are doing it for all the wrong reasons. 

and he is using a term that everyone would have been able to understand… they would have right away had an image of an actor putting on a mask, in order to perform. In order to play the part of someone who was not actually who they are.  


Theater is great to go and watch a show… but when you live your whole life there, it is not very attractive. and what Jesus was saying about the Pharisees was that their whole lives were an act.

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