So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. –Matthew 23:3 NIV
The Pharisees were members of the ancient Jewish sect and were basically self-righteous and hypocritical. They were eager to lecture others but not apply their teachings to their own lives. They studied Scripture, devoting themselves to teaching. The Messiah was standing right in front of them, yet they were blinded. They were filled with religious pride. This was something Jesus couldn’t tolerate. They didn’t point people to God but wanted the attention for themselves.
The Pharisees neglected the important areas such as faith, love, and mercy, which is all Jesus requires of us. Jesus states in Matthew 23:25-26 (NIV), “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”
This is a lesson to be learned. If people think we, children of God, are hypocrites, they will not believe in anything we stand for. It is important for us to walk the talk. Our actions must speak louder than our words. Trust Galatians 6:3 (NIV), “If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.”
Lord God, how vast is Your love for me! Let me always put You first.
Thank You for leaving us Your inspired Word. Help us to read it carefully and apply it faithfully.