Just who were those pharisee's and why did our
Lord Jesus castigate and denounce their works ?
Insomuch that their leaven was censored as being,
corrupt and cankered - akin to that of the spread
of CANCER !!( To shun and avoid at all ...cost )
First let's give a "summation" of their traits and manners - and put it into a listing as such.
~~ They were legalist's ~~ Self-righteous
~~ Were finger pointers ~~ Whisperers
~~ Set up spy rings ~~ Despised sinners
~~ Were coveteous ~~ Were harsh & unmerciful
~~ Swallowed camels ~~ Strained at knats
~~ Prayed long prayers ~~ Were pandantic
~~ Reserved front rows ~~ Devoured estates
~~ Had the blood of prophets on their hands !!
~~ Proselyted & poached MEN from other "faith's"
~~ Loved the praises of men & THE honour of MAN
~~ Were beligerant, condescending, and partial
~~ Were Sarcastic, bombastic, and toxic.`
~~ Loved the attention/greetings at public places
~~ They loved to be "called" by their office title
~~ All their works were motivated by "eye service"
~~ Omitted important issues and majored on MINORS
~~ Wore clothes TO DISTINGUISH them as IMPORTANT
Now after reading and perusing that list you
might be thinking to yourself - hey i know a few
people that fit into that category, or hey i know some modern-day pharisee's like the afore
Well the truth is: we all to some degree or
another have been guilty of being..."pharisee's"
and have lived as pharisee's at various times in
our lives - if we were honest with our own hearts.
I personally know what ive come out of - and where
ive been, and what my background once was, so im
not "quick" to condemn, but neither do i embrace
that which once was turning me into a harsh
legalist and a constant fault-finder.
The apostle Paul as we all know came out of the
pharisee movement and lifestytle - others also
know this to be called " the religion of the Jews"
We read in Matthew chapter twenty-three the
stinging words of our Lord as he blasted the
those scribes and pharisee's for their hypocrisies
WE read that he "prounounced" (8) differing WOES
UPON their heads - furthermore he did not say
these words in a closet but to the - "gathering"
Jesus did not forbear, he gave them both barrels
and stood on TOES - reproaching and denouncing !!
Calling them FOOLS, blind guides & hypocrites.
HE TOLD THEM THIS: That once they got through
proselyting a new convert & disciple - the
result WAS( he was made into 2 FOLD CHILD OF HELL
twice "THE DEVIL" - OF THE MENTOR ) Jesus said
when you pharisee's have finished with him on
your discipleship assembly-line, you turn him
into a DEVIL AND DOUBLE THE WICKED PERSON YOU ARE
BY THE TIME YOU GET THROUGH WITH THE PROSELYTE
YOU HAVE UNDER YOUR CARE WINGS - YOU MAKE HIM NOTHING MORE THAN A..."DEVIL" ( MATT 23:15 )
The followers and converts the pharisee's were
chewing and spinning out resulted in them being
worse in manners and behaviour - than that of
his mentoring leader.
So in other words: if the mentor was unloving,
harsh, dogmatic, bigoted, a legalist or a liberal, then as an example of what i speak -
then his students would display even worse tendencies and mannerisms - this is one to watch
for and discern as to wether the leaven of the
pharisee - exists in your fellowships or churches.
You see wether we realize this or not we are all
unknowingly taking on traits and qaulities of
those we subject ourselves too - some call this
the sub-conscious factor of man.
WE model our their leaders and his character !!
SO be careful who you listen too and submit too
AS no doubt Jesus had observed this trend amongst
the pharisee - turning their pupils into TWICE
the children of HELL.
What else do we learn about these scribes and
pharisee's ?? Jesus told them they SHUT UP the
kingdom of heaven against MEN !! AND THAT THEY
NEITHER GO IN THEMSELVES - AND neither did they
suffer those seeking " to enter in " to go in
[ but RATHER... hindered them ]
The truth is: they were not aiding and abeting
those "pressing in" but upon close observation
by Jesus - by their OWN doctrines, words, and works....were in actuality ( hindering others )
who genuinely sought... conversion and salvation.
Basically they buffeted, hindered, scattered,AND
put up road-blocks and speed bumps in the pathway
- of a genuine recipient of God's grace.
Jesus told his disciples: he that is not
for me - is against ME, and he that gathers not
with me -- becomes -- a scatterer instead.
Evidently the blindness that was upon the pharisee
did not allow him to see that in essence - he was
batting for the wrong team !!
And that he was hindering - more than helping.
The pharisee Jesus had observed was notorious
for making people feel "cut-off" or that he was
no good, or was never going to MAKE-IT, or that
such PEOPLE AND INDIVIDUALS had by their estimate
fallen out of favour with God. AND SO those
endeavouring to enter into God's kingdom felt
as though God was against them - and due to the
many guilt trips laid upon them - they walked
around feeling condemned, and feeling unfit in
God's eyes.. the pharisee SITTING in Moses seat made it seem as though their words were FINAL
as being - the JUDGES OF ALL... HUMANITY.
THEREFORE DUE TO POSITION AND RANK IT MADE IT
HARD FOR PEOPLE TO OVERCOME THEIR WORDS - IF THEY
WERE - THE RECIPIENTS OF THEIR JUDGEMENTS !!
And so consequently they were in essence as Jesus
said - were " shutting up " God's kingdom against
men...and people felt cut-off and forsaken by God.
They laid heavy burdens upon mens shoulders and
exacted and exacted and continued to exact more
and more works, sacrifice and service to their OWN... cause ...and... movement.
For a modern-day example: a man may work at his
job and vocation around 50 to 60 hours a week
to provide for his wife and children and come
Sunday though the pharisee's expected him to
be an usher, service the bookshop, hand out
brochures, service the front-desk,counsel & pray
the new converts, hold a mid-week cell group, arrive 1 hour early to get communion ready
and to get the emblems prepared etc etc - sometimes this is laid upon just ONE MAN to
do - and all in the one day, furthermore if he is
what they call today "just" a LAY PASTOR then
he recieves no renumeration or gift for his labour
as only "clergy pastors" are entitled to recieve
the GOLD of the temple for THEIR serving. AND so
he works 60 hours a week and he IS asked to do
the serving of what normolly would take (5 )
men to do. ( and as for compensation or a gift )OR
A PROMOTION TO "CLERGY PASTOR"
He is told he should be doing MORE and could be
finding other ways to get even more involved ALL above that which he is currently doing.
Now i should hasten to add if such a person loves
to serve in this manner it is commendable - but
i speak and address that of what the pharisee's did - which was laying heavy heavy unbearable
burdens ( grevious to be borne ) and yet lift not
so much as their OWN little fingers- to help such.
You see friends - a submissive, COMMITED,ZEALOUS
sub-servient, and willing worker is many ways - easy to EXPLOIT... and take ADVANTAGE of.
Co-operative, willing minds, eager to please the
Lord can be easily manipulated, and in many ways
the sheep who follow the leaders today - are like
"putty" and like "clay" in the hands of leaders
who work them into the grounD, and EXACT AND EXACT
AND EXACT - TO A POINT - many experience burn-out.
Jesus had OBSERVED this feature and trait about
the sadducee and pharisee movements - and of the
religion of the Jews.
They pressed and pushed and cajoled for more and
more WORKS and SERVICE - but did not alleviate
any of the burden... or workload with so much as
Their own... "little pinkie"
The pharisees [burnED out] their followers and
offered no respite or relief from the agendas and assignments - THAT they had allocated to their
CONVERTS and FOLLOWERS.
THERE IS MANY OTHER THINGS JESUS REBUKED THEM
OVER - WHICH IS ALL READABLE IN MATTHEW 23
SUFFICE TO SAY TO CLOSE THIS LETTER - THAT
WE TOO - NEED TO TAKE HEED TO AVOID THE LEAVEN
OF THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES - AND THE MODERN
DAY PHARISEE AND SADDUCEE ALSO.
Jesus also exhorted his own disciples to BEWARE
of their "doctrines" - as the poison of ARSENIC
was ...IN THEM.
NOT JUST THEIR WORKS AND HYPOCRISIES BUT -
WERE ARE TOLD TO BEWARE OF THEIR "DOCTRINES" ALSO
AS THEY WILL RESULT IN MAKING YOU A 2 FOLD
CHILD OF HELL - AS THEY THEMSELVES WERE. !!!