Did the Pharisees know that they were Pharisaical? That is a play-on-words. The word "Pharisaical,
" has come into common usage - because of the glaring deficiencies in their conduct. Do the self-righteous realize that they are self-righteous? Why couldn't the Pharisees see their self-righteousness? What can we learn from the lessons of the Pharisees? Is it possible that, we today, exhibit some of the same weaknesses as the Pharisees of Jesus Christ's day?
The Pharisees were a very powerful force to contend with. Notice the response of even the chief rulers because of their fear of the control wielded by the Pharisees: "Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him [Jesus]; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue." (John 12:42 ) Do we sometimes neglect to do the right thing in order that we may remain comfortable? Or, worse yet, do we lack the ability to see where we are obviously coming short of God's expectations - making it impossible to recognize when we are wrong?
We are given a clear picture of how we should be professing our Faith and Christianity, today, in the account of the two men who went into the Temple to pray. Jesus told this parable to certain men who "trusted in themselves" that they were righteous, while at the same time they despised other people.
"Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." (Luke 18:10-14)
Let's not assume that the Pharisaical characteristics exhibited in this parable was exclusively a first century problem. What does it mean to "trust in ourselves?" These words of Christ are especially for the Children of God in this end time. Let's listen to what Jesus says to us.
Sermon: "Today's Pharisees"
Sabbath sermon examines modern Pharisaical practices in the Church of God.