The Modern Pharisee

Posted: November 30, 2015 in TLCC
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We have often heard of what the pharisees are that we forget that sometimes, we have the tendency to be pharisees. God is more concerned with us for who we are inside rather than what we do.

Read Luke 11:37-54

#1 Don’t be concerned with the outside to the point of neglecting what is inside.

Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. Luke 11:39

Sometimes, we value the work, we value ministry more than our own relationship with the Lord. We lose sight of what is important. Like Pharisees, we focus on the external factors that we forget our own time with Him. The question we ask then is…how is our devotions? We can be so busy with God’s work that we neglect God’s word. Study is our duty before the Lord.

Take some time to read. It’s not what people see that counts, it is what God sees that count.

#2 Don’t major in the minors.

“But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.” Luke 11:42- 44

We ought to check our priorities. We have the tendency to make a big fuss over the small things that we forget the bigger picture. We can send our tithes, but forget to show justice, to show love, to show compassion to people. We can be giving money but forgetting to build relationships. We should not neglect what is important. We should apply God’s word in our lives and not just for display to people around us.

With our attitude in majoring in the minors, we sometimes unintentionally drag people into our own uncleanness. Think of unmarked tombs. The Jews were so particular in being clean that tombs are marked so they don’t get unclean by going near it. Now, unmarked tombs make people dirty because people don’t know that they are stepping on tombs. In that same manner, the Pharisees make people around them dirty by just hanging out with them. Sometimes, we make people sin because they hang out with us. We make people stumble because we make a big issue out of the small stuff.

#3 Don’t compromise truth.

As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things, lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say. Luke 11:53-54

The pharisees would do whatever it takes to trap Jesus. In the end, a modern pharisee is someone who bends to compromise. Instead of living for Christ, a lot of Christians would conform to the norms of this world. We are not to live a life of deceit, rather, whatever it will take, we live out the truth in our lives.

Check yourselves. Are you a modern Pharisee? Are you concerned about external factors? Are you majoring in the minors? Are you compromising truth?

We might be a pharisee and not know it.


(adapted from Pastor Albert Ong’s preaching in #Multiply at #TLCC.)


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