If we pay close attention to what the Pharisees do, it becomes easier to identify who the modern-day Pharisees are.
“He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”
In this passage, Jesus addressed the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times – This includes professing believers in leadership roles who avoid talking about the end times and deny the events we are experiencing are leading up to the Second Coming of Jesus. While believers are in different levels regarding our faith walk, the Pharisees’ main focus is their status and people’s approval.
“Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.”
- Everything they do is done for people to see
- they love the place of honor
- they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others
Not all Pharisees are blind. There are some like Nicodemus & Joseph of Arimathea. Even they had to be sneaky about their support for Jesus since they feared the backlash of their fellow Pharisees (John 19:38-39), but being stuck in the pharisaical mindset is truly a bad thing. These religious types claim to be Christians, but they crucify those who adhere to the Word of God. They do not believe that Scripture is sufficient when it comes to doctrine. They are also threatened when they find someone who calls out and exposes their façade of religiosity.
“Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.”
One thing about the Pharisees is that they are hypocrites (Matthew 23). However, there is a common misconception of calling someone a Pharisee. It is usually the pharisaical ‘Christian’ that snaps at the Bible-believing Christian whom they consider to be fundamentalists. The Pharisee has clout in this day and age. Since they work hard to gain a following by dishonest and scheming means, they can easily mislead people to think they are on the right side as they marginalize those who truly love Jesus.
“Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
“For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”