The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, For they do not practice what they preach. Matthew 23:2, 3

If we are acquainted with the teaching of Jesus we know that he had problems with the Pharisees of his day. Matthew 23 is a good example.

Keep in mind that Phariseeism is a defense mechanism people use to avoid becoming aware of their own faults, failings and depravity. They are afraid to look inside for the things they need to change. It is far easier to look at the faults of others rather than confront the person we see in the mirror.

The sin of the Pharisees was maintaining that they were the only true believers. “We can’t have heaven filled.” They maintain the status quo and that nothing needs changing. “Sinners” are outside the fellowship of God and He doesn’t even hear their prayers. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will. (John 9:31)

We still have the problem in the 21st century. There are many people who know that they are the only ones who are going to make it to heaven. They have their list of requirements and exclude or look down on those who fail to match these requirements. There are political Pharisees, economical Pharisees, educational Pharisees and religious Pharisees.

Maybe we could all learn a lesson from Jesus and look to ourselves. You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:5)