scribes and pharisees

Are you a modern day Pharisee?


The Pharisees in Jesus’ time were revered by the people, but Jesus had very harsh words for them.

These pompous, holier than thou men towered over the people like mighty guardians. They were members of a religious sect who often clashed with Jesus over His interpretation of the Law.

The name Pharisee means (separated one). Hence, the Pharisees separated themselves from society to study and teach the law, but they also separated themselves from the common people and labelled them religiously unclean.

Regardless, the Pharisees commanded respect from the masses because of their pious persona. Still, Jesus was not impressed. He saw them as empty shells and scolded the group for unnecessary punishments they placed on the poor.

In a scathing rebuke of the Pharisees found in Matthew 23 and Luke 11, Jesus called them hypocrites and exposed their sins. He compared the Pharisees to whitewashed tombs, which are beautiful on the outside but  are filled with dead men’s bones and uncleanness on the inside.

 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. ” (Matthew 23:13).

“Woe to you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things” (Matthew 23:23).

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs that indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:27-28).

Do you live a good Christian life?


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Every good Christian dream of the day when you stand before Jesus Christ and hear Him say, “Welcome to my Fathers’ Kingdom, thou good and faithful servant. Unfortunately, not every so-called good Christian will see their dream turn into reality. As a matter of fact, Jesus, in one of His discourses made it clear, “Not every one that says unto me Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). That begs the question. Is living a good Christian life enough to get you into heaven?

Anyone can seem to live a good Christian life, until the truth comes out.  The Scribes and Pharisees appeared good until Jesus exposed them for what they were; hypocrites. In one, instance, He referred to them as: “You blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter that the outside of them may be clean also” (Matthew 23:26). This pious group was more concerned about outward appearance than they were about the heart.

Unlike the Biblical Scribes and Pharisees, we Christians, must not only seem to live a good Christian life, but our hearts, words and actions must be in sync with the teachings of Jesus Christ. In other words, we must practice what we preach in public and in private. “For I say to you, this is Jesus talking, unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:21). The blue print for a good Christian life can be found in Jesus’ ‘Sermon on the Mount‘. (Read Matthew 5,6,7)