“Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” (Luke 12:1)
The leaven of the Pharisees was hypocrisy; externalism and legalism; role-playing; masks. They were company men through and through. They loved power, position, and authority, and they had a protective allegiance to any political or religious reality that supported them. Jesus, on the other hand, hated nothing so much as hypocrisy because it made impossible the loving communion with others he so treasured.
God always seeks loving communion with us and truth is the one indispensable prerequisite to that communion. Jesus often found it easier to associate with those deemed “sinners” by religious authorities, than with more respectable people. “Sinners” could also be hypocrites but they were less so than those with appearances (masks) to keep up.
Truth is essential to all relationships. Jesus tolerated sin more easily than denial of it. Forgiveness of sins and restoration of loving communion are impossible without rigorous honesty; truth. Grace and truth go together in the nature of things.
How much truth would Jesus find in the Church today? How much hypocrisy? I wonder, would Jesus of Nazareth even be welcomed or accepted in the Church that claims to represent him?