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Are You Unlike The Pharisees?

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Then the Pharisees called a meeting to plot how to kill Jesus. Matthew 12:14 NLT

Talk about a bunch of hypocrites. The Pharisees said they believed in God, angels, miracles, the Ten Commandments, and the prophecies of old. They went so far as to reinterpret the scriptures and follow strict rules governing all manner of external behavior in order to look ultra-religious.

Yet Jesus warned, “Unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!” (Matthew 5:20 NLT).

Why such a harsh rebuke? It turns out the Pharisees in Jesus’ day had placed their own rules above God’s Word and looked down on everyone else. They were far more interested in their own power and prestige than in God’s glory and honor.

When Jesus started going out of His way to break the minute “laws” invented and revered by these men, the Pharisees saw red. The more convincingly Jesus demonstrated His deity, the more bloodthirsty the Pharisees became.

Sadly many religious hypocrites seek to wield power today. If someone isn’t careful, he can end up focusing on the external aspects of Christianity.

Unlike the Pharisees, take God at His Word and daily choose to love Him with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.

Prayer: Lord, transform me. Unlike the Pharisees, I don’t want to be a self-centered legalist, but sometimes I act that way. Please change me.
 

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