Reading: Matthew 23:27
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.
They numbered six thousand strong, walking the corridors of power with unveiled conceit. They prided themselves in their vain knowledge of the intricacies of the Law and traditions of the Jews. They watched each other, like hungry vultures, for any violation of the written code … ready in a moment to devour one another to increase their stature among the elite.
They held absolute sway at the synagogues, sat in the best seats for weddings and feasts, and recited long prayers from rote to impress the lesser lights. Their pockets were lined with policemen and lawyers. Their hearts were filled with bitterness and greed. They could dispense truth and judgment, but their expansive knowledge of God had no light or heat … it had turned stone cold in the graveyard of their own injustices.
John rightly called them vipers. Jesus called them fools. They called themselves Pharisees; the separate ones. They lived by a code; an exacting measure of personal piety. They held contempt for all but their own. Living so close to their laws and traditions, they couldn’t see a horrible paradox.
In separating themselves from people, they ultimately separated themselves from God.
Reposted with permission from onehope.net.