During his time here on Earth, there’s one group of people Jesus called out more than any other.
Tax collectors? Nope.
Adulterers? I don’t think so.
Murderers? I mean they’re bad, but no.
It was the Pharisees!
Time and time again, Jesus called out a group of religious people called the Pharisees for believing (and acting on the belief) that they were better than everyone else simply because they followed all the religious rules of the day. Even away from God, they thought they had life all figured out!
But that was a long time ago, surely we don’t have Pharisees yet today?
One quick look at social media shows us a different story. We (myself included) often sound the Pharisee that Jesus was talking about in Luke 18:
The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get. – Luke 18:11-12
If you didn’t pick up on it, he’s “praying” about how great he is.
On Facebook, at the office, with our family, this is so often what we sound like. But what God desires for us is to sound more like the sinner in Jesus’ story—
Next to the Pharisee, the tax collector is praying—looking down at the ground and asking God to have mercy on him for his sins. Jesus ends the story with this takeaway:
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." – Luke 18:14
Truth is, Pharisees are still around today. They may not look like guys with long beards dressed up in robes—actually today they look a lot more like you, and like me.
How do you know if you have a Pharisaical heart? Here are four ways to tell (that hopefully help us to change our hearts for the better).
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages Malikov Aleksandr