To many this would seem to be an ironic title, “The One Thing Jesus Hated The Most”. Most Christians would probably tell you how much Jesus was about love or something to that effect. But there were things that Jesus spoke out against consistently that perhaps we don’t ponder enough. In understanding what Jesus strongly disliked, and being He was the son of God, consequently what God strongly dislikes, perhaps we find ourselves another avenue with connecting with God deeper. But first, if an alien were to crash land on earth with no knowledge of Christianity and had to guess what Jesus hated most based off of what Christian culture speaks out against most, what would there guesses be?
Perhaps the number one guess would be homosexuality, the seemingly favorite sin to talk about and condemn publicly. Interestingly, Jesus never mentions or explicitly condemns homosexuality. It’s a point a lot of Christians who are more supportive of the lifestyle tend to make. However, Jesus does implicitly condemn homosexuality through condemnation of fornication, which is to say unlawful intercourse, and adultery. Nonetheless, this was not what Jesus spoke out against the most in scripture, far from it actually.
Perhaps the number two guess aliens would make is Islam. With terrorist attacks in recent years throughout the world committed by Islamic extremist groups, a small plurality of Christians promotes the idea of being at war with Islam. You see this plurality express fears of Shari law being instituted if Muslims are elected to political office, and also protests against any teachings of Islam being given in world religion classes at public schools. Jesus of course never spoke out against Islam explicitly, though again implicitly, Jesus was in support of people following after Him and connecting to God through Him. But again, far from what Jesus spoke out against consistently in scripture.
So what did Jesus hate the most?
So He didn’t speak out against homosexuality the most, didn’t speak out against Islam the most, and didn’t speak out against a number of other issues that you find consistently publicly spoken against within popular Christian culture often. But what did He speak out against the most? What did Jesus hate the most? I would suggest to you the answer to that question is one word, and that word is hypocrisy. Jesus seemed to consistently speak out against the hypocrisy of the religious leaders of that time, and hypocrisy within people in general. Let’s observe the following verses.
Matthew 6:2 “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.”
Matthew 6:5 “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Matthew 6:16 “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.”
Matthew 7:5 “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
Matthew 15:7 “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:”
Matthew 22:18 “But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites?”
Matthew 23:13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”
Matthew 23:14 “[Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.]”
Matthew 23:15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.”
Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.”
Matthew 23:25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence.”
Matthew 23:27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”
Matthew 23:28 “So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
Matthew 23:29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,”
Matthew 24:51 “and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Mark 7:6 “And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me.”
Luke 6:42 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.”
Luke 12:1 “Under these circumstances, after so many thousands of people had gathered together that they were stepping on one another, He began saying to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”
Luke 12:56 “You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time?”
Luke 13:15 “But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall and lead him away to water him?”
As we can see, numerous times Jesus condemned hypocrisy. Perhaps it’s far from coincidence that one of the main criticisms of the Christian church today is the hypocrisy within it. The lack of humility and compassion that was exhibited by the Pharisees and Sadducees would arguably be the heart of the hypocrisy we see today. It seems the greater goal of condemning hypocrisy was a call to pursue genuine faith through authentic piety towards God, humility within ourselves, and compassion towards others. One could wonder if the Christian church would be viewed differently if a majority of Christian culture focused our outrage towards more of what Jesus hated most.
Peace to all those who are in Christ.