phariseesThe Pharisee sect of the Jewish religion loved to make public displays of their righteousness. They wore long flowing robes, tassels, tinkling bells, prominently displayed phylacteries (prayer boxes), etc. Their religion was based on hundreds of their own religious laws (traditions). Jesus strongly denounced their hypocrisy (Matthew 23, Mark 7 and Luke 11). Their pride kept them from accepting Jesus. They thanked God they were not like other men (Lk 18:10), while exalting themselves in selfrighteousness. Jesus described them as “children of hell” (Mt 23:15). They were hypocritical and censorious, noted for their strict observance of their own laws, “teaching as their doctrine the commandments of men” (read carefully Mark 7:5-9). They loved titles like “Rabbi” and “Father” (Mt 23:5-12).

They were guilty of binding their own traditions (Mt 15:2; Mk 7:1-23). For example: they re-defined the Sabbath day’s journey, saying they could ride a donkey but could not use a switch for that would be “laying a burden.” They were arrogant and self-righteous, loving the praise of men (Mt 23:6) . Other less prominent sects of the Jews were the Saducees and Essenes.

A Christian is not Pharasaic when he follows and urges all men to carefully follow the Bible, the recorded and inspired word of God (2 Tim 3:16-17). He warns that the message of this “perfect … law of Christ” not be ignored, changed, added to or taken from in any way (I Cor 4:6;Gal 6:2; Rev 22:18).

Paper Pulpit book, 391 sermons, $10 ppd; 5 books, $30.