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Are you a Pharisee?
Monday, April 25, 2022
Are you a Pharisee? In Matthew 23, Jesus goes on an epic rant calling out the religious teachers and Pharisees for their hypocrisy. As you recall, the Pharisees were considered to be the official interpreters of the laws of Moses. In their time, they had a lot of power, money and influence, and they weren’t afraid to use it — up to and including plotting the death of some guy from Nazareth who said he was the Messiah.
Modern-day Pharisees have the same lack of subtlety as their ancient counterparts. In many cases, they do the “right thing”, but for all the wrong reasons. They might be the ones teaching a Bible study class, and pointing out everyone else’s apparent lack of knowledge or misinterpretations rather than encouraging discussion and providing gentle correction. They give a lot of money to the church, and they let everyone know about it and/or try to influence church politics.
In their minds, their particular denomination of Christianity is the only one that has the correct interpretation of everything in the Bible and they’re “kind enough” to tell you that you’re a moron if you think otherwise. While they may be righteous people, it’s self-righteousness. They know they’re morally superior to everyone else.
As always, Jesus has the answer. It’s best to put God at the heart of everything we do and keep our egos out of the equation.
“But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Matthew 23:12 NLT
Give generously, but don’t tell everyone about it. Teach the Word, and look to the Bible and a variety of commentaries to come to a common understanding. Realize that your denomination doesn’t necessarily have a trademark on the truth, and don’t argue with other Christians about doctrine. Work diligently and quietly towards justice, mercy and faith, but don’t plaster the Web with self-serving photos of yourself at rallies.