We are all tempted to pose in some way. Jesus wants to ‘ex-pose’ us.

When Jesus looked at the façade of religion around him He spoke up. He would not participate in creating a false illusion of moral success, ethnic superiority or worldly success.

If Jesus were to catch any of us being religious posers, He would pull away our mask. He would tell us to quietly deal with our people-pleasing instincts. He would tell us to believe the words of our Heavenly Father more.

Are there ways that you are looking for others to affirm your religious success? Do you feel that your family or other churchgoers will accept you more if you are more obvious with your devotional activities?

If you were more spiritual, you would probably pray a lot more, right? You would be sure to associate with others who appear to be on the inner-circle of Jesus’ best friends. You would spend a fair bit of time evaluating yourself to see if you’re measuring up. If you were really spiritual, you would probably get into fasting and try to get others to set the bar as high as you do.

Jesus knows all about our way of thinking. He saw the way that ‘the more spiritual crowd’ behaved and spoke up.

Matthew 6:
16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

A poser works hard at presentation. If they are successful in their illusion, they gain the reward of thinking that other people look up to them. In reality, it is a shallow reward, because people eventually figure out if you are faking it. Then they lose respect. And that is the full reward of a poser.

On the other hand, Jesus tells us to conceal what we’re doing so we do not get caught up in trying to impress people. Jesus tells us to be authentic and focused on what only God can see.