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The Pharisees - Jewish Leaders in the First Century AD.
A Heart Message
"Has any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him?
No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law--there is a curse on them." John 7:48,49
One of the greatest ironies of scripture is the rejection of Christ by the stewards of God's word. Their extensive knowledge of the word of God did not bring them to faith in The Living Word of God, but rather they're hatred of God was exposed.
It is written in the Prophets: `They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. John 6:45
In all their studies of Scripture, they did not listen to the Father, or learn from him. Something vital was missing inside of them.
Perhaps they were missing honesty. Had they been honest with God's word, and with themselves they would have felt a constant need for mercy and forgiveness rather than pride and self sufficiency as they spent their time learning. They would have been prepped for a Savior like many of the common people who had much less Bible knowledge, but applied honesty and humility to what they knew.
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable:
"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: `God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, `God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 18: 9-14
The Pharisees as a Jewish sect provided a great service in teaching and preserving the word of God, how tragic that they were not able to receive it's most important benefit for themselves the humility required to embrace their Messiah and Savior.