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#5kMay2020 Blog (Day 8)

My brother and I decided to get out the door fairly early this morning because the weather was looking like it would probably rain around 8:30am, and we wanted to get a smooth 16 miles in before that. I met him at his place at 6:30am and we tromped around Wooster for a while.

We have been running loops lately. We ran an 8 mile “hilly” loop south of his house, refueled, and then ran an 8 mile “flat” loop north of his house.

At this point we are thinking about running the #5kMayhem together from his place. Wooster has so many great routes to run. We’ll see… there is still a lot of time left to work out the #5kMayhem details.

I also put in an additional 2.23 miles with Jodi later in the afternoon. Today was the day to #RunWithMaud, and it only seemed right to be a part of that. It is so sad to hear about a fellow runner shot and killed while out for his daily run. That’s messed up.

Daily Run: Brian and I ran just over 16 miles in 2 hours, 4 minutes, and 54 seconds, which is an average pace of 7:44 per mile. It was just a nice, pleasant run this morning. We felt a few sprinkles on the very last mile. I also tripped over a lip in the sidewalk and nearly face planted into a telephone pole at around mile 14. I am not sure how, but I managed to sidestep like a makeshift ballerina and avoid smashing into the pole. Meanwhile, Brian was just about to shove me with all of his might out of the way of the pole. Thankfully he didn’t have to. How great would it have been for a random passerby to see one runner viciously shove another to the ground? Haha. That would have been epic.

For my second run, I ran 2.23 miles in 20 minutes and 52 seconds, which is an average pace of 9:22 per mile.

Daily Bible Reading: As you read through Matthew 23, you cannot help but notice how often Jesus uses the word “hypocrite” in reference to the scribes and Pharisee leaders. In fact, Jesus calls them hypocrites 8 different times in the span of 16 verses. 

So what does that word “hypocrite” actually mean?

You may be surprised…

When we try to think of a modern-day example of a hypocrite, perhaps a politician is the first thing that comes to mind. We often think of the word as meaning someone who says one thing and does another. Or perhaps we think of church members, or even church leaders, who point their fingers and tell others what to do but don’t actually seem to follow their own ideals.

These ideas are close to the original meaning, but not quite on target.

The word simply means, “an actor”. 

Growing up in Nazareth, Jesus would have lived 3.1 miles from Sepphoris. Sepphoris does not necessarily show up in the Bible (though there may be some references to it in the Old Testament). It was a fairly “major” city (probably around 25,000 inhabitants), while Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth would have been a very small village (probably 300-500 inhabitants).

Sepphoris would have been the place where inhabitants of Nazareth would go to the market. This means that Jesus likely spent quite a bit of time in Sepphoris. 

We know that Jesus was a carpenter, but that word, tekton, likely does not mean what we typically think it means. We typically think of a carpenter as being a woodworker (think saws and wood), and that certainly may be the case. Perhaps a more accurate picture of Jesus’ vocation as a carpenter is less of a woodworker and more of a stone worker. So much of what was being built in the first century was crafted out of stone, not wood. 

Sepphoris had no shortage of stone crafting to be done. The city belonged to Herod Antipas. The Galilee region was given to Herod Antipas to rule after Herod the Great died. Herod Antipas inherited a fairly broken down Sepphoris and called for all of the craftsmen in the area to come to work and rebuild the city. It is highly likely that Joseph (the husband of Mary and earthly “father” of Jesus) would have been among the craftsmen who helped to rebuild Sepphoris. Jesus would have worked right alongside of Joseph. 

Sepphoris is home to a rather nice Roman Theatre. And of course, coming full circle, the Theatre is where the hypocrites would perform. Jesus was well-aware of what it meant to be an actor.

When Jesus is calling out the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23, Jesus uses this term not because they say one thing and do another. That understanding of the word hypocrite would not come into being for another 1,000+ years. Rather, He is saying that they simply are not what they look to be. They are mask wearers. False.

The worst part about the scribes and the Pharisees wasn’t that they were insincere. Rather, the worst part was that they were completely sincere. They posed as Godly men because they truly believed that they were Godly men. They had become lost in character.

With a thundering rebuke Jesus attempts to pull the mask off and reveal their true character. His final rebuke must have stung the worst:

… I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.

Matthew 23:34–35, ESV

There was no denying it. Abel was the first martyr, killed because of his faithfulness and love of God by his jealous brother. Zechariah, the prophet (not the Zechariah mentioned in 2 Chronicles 24), was likely the last known martyr (being killed roughly 300 years before Jesus was born). Jesus was then saying they were like Abel, and pinning on the scribes and the Pharisees essentially every martyrdom from the first to the last.

The script had been written. The stage had been set. The actors were in place. The next killing that would be on their hands would be that of Jesus, Himself.

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