Jesus loves everyone. He accepts those on the fringe, the people who society dismiss. Jesus embraces people who do wrong and who live immoral lives. Yet there was one group he criticized, and he did so often: the Pharisees.
Aren’t we glad we’re not Pharisees? We want God’s love, acceptance, and embrace; we don’t want his criticism. Isn’t it great we’re not Pharisees?
Yet what is a Pharisee? A Pharisee was a religious leader. Today, anyone who is a minister, elder, deacon, Sunday school teacher, or board member is a church leader. That means many of us are in danger of being a Pharisee, too.
Pharisees sought to maintain the status quo. They protected tradition; they desired to keep their jobs and enjoy the life those jobs provided. Pharisees resisted change. Does this sound like anyone you know? Does this describe you?
These Pharisees opposed the very work of God, the deity they thought they served. They, and their ancestors for centuries, longed for the coming savior. Yet when the Messiah stood before them, they didn’t even recognize him.
When God arrived, they rejected him. They missed the exact thing they desired. Don’t be like them; don’t be a Pharisee.