The Pharisees loved for people to admire them.
15 Then he said to them, “You like to appear righteous in public, but God knows your hearts. What this world honors is detestable in the sight of God.
Proverbs 21:2 People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart.
The Pharisees have an addiction problem, if there had been a local chapter for "Be Seen As Righteous Aholics" then they would have to signup. They were so full of self righteousness that they were rebellious right to God's face.
In the last blog post we were looking at "Using Your Money Wisely" In that lesson Jesus taught about the use of money, a subject that the average church goer hates to hear and the Pharisees didn't like it either and in a style similar to the Pharisees, a lot of us react negatively as well.
There were many times that the reaction to Jesus teaching was scoffing or mocking, the Pharisees wanted to appear righteous and honorable, but Jesus would expose them as less. The Pharisees should be mad, after-all they have spent a lot of time on their image and then Jesus has the nerve to tell them that they don't measure up, he tells them that they wasted their time because he looks at the inside.
Jesus stressed the importance of a good heart, he doesn't like heart problems, he said that the people with a pure heart will be blessed (Matthew 5:8), he said that I am to love God with all of my heart (Matthew 22:37), he said that good deeds can only come from a good heart (Luke 6:45).
The Pharisees were known for their "book learnin'" but Proverbs says that they will never get it:
Proverbs 14:6, 15:12, 21:24 A mocker seeks wisdom and never finds it. Mockers hate to be corrected, so they stay away from the wise. Mockers are proud and haughty; they act with boundless arrogance.I must be careful that I assess who I am and if I am living with God's approval. I can easily have man's approval for a while but God's assessment of my condition is the one that matters. I need to remember that Jesus said that his own heart is gentle and humble (Matthew 11:29) and remember that he wants the same from me.
Help me Lord to inspect myself accurately when I hear a teacher or pastor sharing about your ways.