“Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? You who say, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For ‘the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,’ as it is written” (Romans 2:17-24).
Few sins are as egregious as blasphemy. It is the horrific spiritual fruit of a wicked and hard heart. When the evil Pharisees attributed Jesus’ healing power of a blind, mute, demon-possessed man to the ruler of the demons, our Lord refuted their foolish accusation and then warned of the gravity and heinousness of blasphemy (Matthew 12:22-32).
The Jews clearly viewed themselves as vastly superior to the Gentiles. They rested on the Law, made their boast in God, knew His will, approved the things which are excellent, were instructed out of the Law; they were guides to the blind, lights to those in darkness, instructors of the foolish, and teachers of spiritual babes. To their way of thinking, God was pretty fortunate to have them on His side.
But, God was not impressed with them. Rather, He was offended by their lives. He viewed them not as allies but as enemies. Though they taught the Gentiles the truth about the sins of stealing, adultery, idolatry, and obeying the Law, they did not practice what they preached.
Like the Jews in Isaiah’s and Ezekiel’s days, their descendants in the first century dishonored God by breaking His Law (Romans 2:23-24; Isaiah 52:5; Ezekiel 36:22).
As our Lord clearly and forcefully proclaimed in Matthew 23—Woe unto every hypocrite who teaches you what God commands to observe but does not do according to what is instructed. The name of God is blasphemed whenever such occurs.