Some thoughts for our current Pharasees

All people have needs
Unfortunately, not alike
change is difficult

Why hostility?
Why not call for empathy
and understanding

Flexibility
Willingness to compromise
not always easy

Jesus at times accused the Pharisees of putting great weight on others, as they themselves were unwilling to lift a finger. (Matthew 23:4) The system was such that they would rather close up the gates of heaven for everyone than bother with going in themselves (still Mathew 23). This is an example of the people in power expected the people without power to do all the compromising. We are doing the same things even now. Those in power see to their own needs, but are unwilling that anyone should even attempt to meet the needs of those who would find submission to be a burden. The doors are closed to all, except those already inside, and those who are able to meet the needs of those in power.

The Pharisees were, though, not nearly as bad as many of us think. They were devout, they sought righteousness, and they wanted to increase it. Their goals were all well and good, their sin is that they did not recognize that other people might have different needs. Any compromise was for their convenience, for all others there was only judgment and condemnation. We need to recognize that it is not the week who need to accommodate the strong, but very much the other way around. We need to build one another up, not to hurt and destroy those who need grace, healing and mercy.

Jesus spoke harshly to the Pharisees for one simple reason — his ministry was to exactly those people who were ignored, neglected. Christ’s ministry was to those who were condemned and harmed when they were noticed. As those of us who direct our churches and ministries make our decisions, (those of us who stand in the same place the Pharisees stood in Jesus’ time) we need to seek to do the ministry of Christ instead of following the example of the Pharisees that Christ condemned.

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