March 23 – The Pharisees – Matthew 12:1-45
The Pharisees were a group of religious, separated Jews. They trusted more in their works and traditions than in Jesus Christ as Saviour. In today’s reading it becomes quite obvious that pride was a major character flaw with which they struggled. In today’s churches, the Pharisees would be more worried about cleaning up the dirt brought into the sanctuary by a dirty bus kid’s shoes, rather than cleaning up the soul of that same bus kid so that child will go to Heaven when it is their time to die.
The Pharisees were more concerned how they appeared before their fellow man, then how they they appeared before God. They accused Jesus of using demons to perform His miracles. The Pharisees tried to entrap Jesus many times throughout Scripture. Jesus tries to warn the Pharisees of what they had become in verses 39-45. The Pharisees had cleaned their spiritual house by being so separated and following the Law of Moses, but had forsaken the main thing of pleasing God. As they neglected their relationship to God, they allowed their “house” to be infested with seven more demons than they originally had begun with. Jesus said the state of the last example is far worse than the first example. This is exactly where the Pharisees were spiritually. The Pharisees refused to admit that they could be wrong. This is a dangerous place to be if you are a Christian, and even more dangerous place to be if you are not a Christian.