Throughout the Gospels, Jesus uses the Pharisees as an example of how not to live our lives. Even some of the apostles use the Pharisees like this in other areas of the Bible. While they were religious leaders and well versed in Jewish law. They didn’t live a life that truly represented God’s law. Often worrying more about how others viewed them than how God viewed them. Or so caught up in things of the world they couldn’t recognize God when he walked among them. We as Christians must be very careful to be sure that we do not become like the Pharisees. It may sound easy, but when we study out the references to the Pharisees in the Bible we discover how similar they are to many Christians today.
Practice What You Preach
21 Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? 22 You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples? 23 You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it. 24 No wonder the Scriptures say, “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.”
The Pharisees and Jewish people of this time often would condemn others for not living according to the law. Even though they often did not live their life according to that law. Sadly an attitude like this is present in our churches today. It is very common for Christians to talk about the sins of others when they have sin in their own life. We need to be sure to take care of the sin in our own lives before we even consider approaching someone else’s sin. Remember we are only called to help people in this life not judge them.
We must also live out the beliefs we have in the Bible. All too often do people say they are Christians but they do not live according to the word. This ultimately will cause others to speak badly about our faith. Many may completely discount our beliefs because of the actions of some so-called Christians. We should all strive to be the best example of a Christian possible. You will of course fall but you must try. Living as an out the Bible is a proclamation that what it says is true. Hopefully causing others to see that Jesus is the answer to life’s problems.
Don’t Seek Human Praise
5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get.
Pride is possibly the easiest sin to fall into. It is built deep into human nature. We all want people to like us. No one wants to others think poorly of them. Which is very understandable. However, we do not need to do things only to be seen by others. The Pharisees wanted people to think of them as great Jewish people. They would often pray or fast only to be seen as holy by others. They were so worried about public perception that they used the things of God to glorify themselves. Jesus instructs his followers not to fast or prayer only to be seen by other. We should instead do those things in private in the hope that the glory all goes to the Lord. As Christians, our lives should be used to glorify the Lord above ourselves.
He must increase, but I must decrease.
Show Love to All People
10 Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. 11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”
The Pharisees were unable to understand why Jesus would eat with sinners. Referring to them in that verse as scum. They would rather allow the people to continue sinning then spend time with them sharing God’s love. Jesus knew his purpose and why he came to the Earth.
12 When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.”
He explained to those who complained that he didn’t come to save the saved. His goal was to rescue those lost in sin. Bringing them to a right relationship with God. So they may experience all that God offers his people. As Christians, we need to adopt the view of Jesus. We need to love the unlovable and do all we can to open their eyes to the Gospel. You would be surprised how many doors open when you knock with compassion instead of hate.
We are no better than anyone else
Well then, should we conclude that we Jews are better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin.
Our knowledge of God does not make us any better than someone who does not know God. Really it should just make us realize how important it is that we share the good news of Jesus with everyone we meet. Because had someone not shared the Gospel with us we could still be lost in sin. God is the God of all people some just do not realize it.
It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking you are better than somebody who sins. Because you have been delivered from sin. It is great that you have been able to leave sin behind and keep from its temptation. Would you have been able to give up sin? Or would you still be in the same place that God found you? It was not by our power but the power of the Lord that we have been rescued from our sinful nature. We owe it to others to share with them the saving power we have come to know in Jesus Christ.
This is Being Christian
This is the not the end all be all list for things a Christian is expected to do. You could even find more To find that just simply turn to the Bible. It is imperative that we do all we can to be the Christians described in the Bible. That really means to take the characteristics described in the Bible and live a life full of them. With that being said if we just look at the picture painted of the Pharisees we can see that is not the life we are called to live. We should also be able to see that at times we can easily slip into having the same mindset they did.
To keep from becoming like the Phareerises we need to stay in the word. Studying it and taking all we can from it. I also believe it is good to pray for God’s help to keep our minds pure. Asking God for help is the best way to accomplish a goal like this. He is always available to help his people.
Thanks For Reading!
Hopefully, this article has helped you to see the issues with the view the Pharisees had. I have seen myself fall into some of these in the past and had to work to remove those view from my life. Thankfully we have God’s word to help us find and address issues in our lives. If this post has been impactful to you please share it on your social media. It would really help us out a lot.