Friday, August 16, 2013


How many times have we, as born again believers, made negative comments about the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Scribes?  I know I have looked down my spiritual nose at even the mention of them in the Scriptures!  After all, didn't they constantly hound Jesus, trying to trap Him in an error to show they were more spiritual than He was?  And didn't Jesus frequently chastise them for being hypocrites and false teachers?  Weren't they the leaders of Israel's religious community who openly campaigned against Him?  I have to admit, they truly deserve whatever criticism they have received.

But, if we are honest with ourselves, were they any worse than we are?  Oh, yes, we have never plotted to betray Jesus and have Him executed, but if He was the Pastor of a local church, would we not "paint Him" as a false teacher, while defending our own Pastor?  You say, "No!?"  Come on!  Be honest!  Are we not guilty of speaking gloriously about Jesus in church, but "behind His back," do we not grumble about how "out of touch" He would be in today's society?  With all His "rules" about our thoughts, or words, and our social interactions, most would avoid Him, saying, "He is too self-righteous, too legalistic, too demanding, for our church, or for our family, or for me!" 

And, lest we forget, the Pharisees and their fellow conspirators were suffering from God's "blinding in part" of them, so the Gentiles could be saved (Rom. 11:1-25).  But we are not blind.  We can see that Jesus came once for the crucifixion and forgiveness of sins, and that He is coming again to rule and reign as King of kings, and Lord of lords.  They had no knowledge of Christ's two advents!  In fact, the word "resurrection" does not even appear in the Old Testament (the only Bible the Pharisees had).  Israel's total concept of their Messiah was that He would be their king, and would defeat their earthly enemies.  They did not comprehend that their earthly enemies were instruments of God's work on them as His people.  They were not expecting God manifest in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16).  They were not aware that God was a Trinity (Mt. 3:16-17; 28:19; Jn. 14:16-17; etc.)!

Whatever knowledge you and I have of Jesus' true identity, His two advents, His incomprehensible love for wretches like us, His death, burial, and resurrection for our sins, we owe to the Father who drew us to Him and the Spirit who convinced us!  Apart from the working of God on my behalf, I am far worse that the Pharisees, in that, I know all these things, and yet I still gossip, lust, and am quick to judge others.  If anyone is a hypocrite, it is me!

God forgive me and all those reading this who are like me! 

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