I am wondering, read the description below and tell me, who does it sound like to you?

A person who:

*Are middle class and of the workforce or a businessman

*Reject worldly or social culture

*They are popular with most of society and people and seek people to recruit for their religious standards and beliefs

*They spend most of their time in or at the church and speak the word and letter of the law.

*Also concerned with keeping the truth and purity of thier religious beliefs

pharisee1When I first read this description, I though OMG!! That’s the church and any really devoted Christian or church member! That’s me! Seriously! Most of us are hard working middle class people. We all for the most part social and interact with others. We believe Christ is the answer to all, so we are always recruiting others to believe. We stand apart from the “worldy” beliefs and culture and try to keep our beliefs upright and biblically based! and I don’t know about you but sometime I feel like I live at the church house! So, I bet now your wondering….what’s your point?

pharisee2The description above is the description that was given through my theological study on the PHARISEES. You know the ones Christ reprimanded and put in their place. The ones who snarled their nose down at others who weren’t as “righteous” as them. The one who wanted to kill Him! This hit so close to home for me. So WHAT makes me different than the Pharisee? what makes the difference between a devoted Christ follower and the Pharisees? None of the attribute above are bad, so what made the Pharisees an issue with Christ?

Two things: The Pharisees separated themselves from the general public and felt like they were “better” because they prided themselves in what they were doing. Anytime pride steps in, it separats you from God.

phariseeSecondly: They were teaching the letter of the law instead of the principles of it. That you must follow commandments 1-10 plus the other 603 laws! Really?@ 613 of them?! Instead of WHY God made the laws. The principles of what Gad was trying to do and protect us from. You see you will automatically be more inclined to follow guidelines and rules if you understand why they were created and the heart of the person who created it.

pharisee4So essence, what made a Pharisee a Pharisee was the lack of relationship, with people and God. They separated themselves from people who didn’t live like they did and only wanted to be around you if you were trying to be as “good” as they were. Also, the lack of relationship with the word. They merely followed rules and regulation and disregarded the heart of God for a relationship with His people.

So, now I ask you….do you see YOU in this post? I do. I see me doing all the above and MAKING SURE I do the last two things so that will be a Christ follower and not a Pharisee. Never forget, Christ values relationship over law.