Our Friday morning Bible study read through Matthew 15 where Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites.
Matthew 15:12, (NKJV) says: “Then His disciples came and said to Him, ‘Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”
What I love about Jesus is that He is not a people pleaser. He speaks clearly. He is offended at the Pharisees because they are the religious leaders and the culture added over 600 laws for the Israeli people to live by. Jesus tells them that their laws are taking precedence over His Ten Commandments.
For instance, He wants people to honor their father and mother. The Pharisees said the money to help their parents has gone to support the Temple.
Others may be impressed by their giving to the Temple, but they’ll never know the Pharisees helped their parents pay taxes. Some Pharisees wanted the recognition for their good deeds.
Years ago, I memorized Hebrews 4:12 (NASB): For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
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Jesus, in person, probably through communicating with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit knew the intentions of the Pharisees’ heart.
Hebrews 4:13 (NASB) continues with, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”
Hebrews 4: 14-16 reminds us that Jesus, the Son of God who passed through the heavens is our high priest and He sympathizes with our weaknesses and He’s willing to help us in our time of need. In Luke 18:27 Jesus is speaking of salvation: “But He said, ‘The things impossible with men are possible with God.’”
Salvation is my greatest need, although as an earth-bound creature I’m not aware of the supernatural at times.
That’s why Jesus came to earth. He chose to be born on earth to open up our spiritual eyes to the good news of the Gospel and to warn us not to follow man-made religions and false teachers. In Matthew 7:15-20 (NASB), Jesus said, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they?
“Even so, every good tree bears good fruit;
but the bad tree bears bad fruit.
“A good tree cannot produce bad fruit,
nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.
“Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down
and thrown into the fire.
“So then you will know them by their fruits.”
No one wants to be called a hypocrite. Yet, there are hypocrites in every aspect of society if you look carefully.
The Pharisees thought they were perfectly okay with God and they were training followers to be just like them.
Jesus said to inspect the leader’s everyday life to see if they’re bringing forth fruits worthy to present to God. The nine fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22, 23 are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I’ve had to ask God to help me with these attributes and behaviors. I’m so grateful for His faithfulness and graciousness and love.
May God bless you, and Happy New Year!