Do not blog like this: “And they loved the praise of man. The reward they sought for…was not the enjoyment of God’s fellowship, but the admiration of others. Jesus said, ‘They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others’ (Matt 23:5-7). This love affair with the praise of man made genuine faith in the self-sacrificing Christ impossible. So, Jesus said to them, ‘How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? (John 5:44). Their hearts were not drawn to God as their reward, but to the praise of man.” (p.194 What Jesus Demands from the World, John Piper).
And again from Paul: “For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” (1 Cor. 4:7)
Do not limit this statement in the Sermon on the Mount to adultery alone: “If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell” (Matt. 5:30).
Picking up from the above Piper quote: “What made this idolatry so ugly to Jesus was that it all came in clean religious clothing. This was the essence of what he called hypocrisy” (p.194).