Identifying with Jesus or the Pharisees
The Pharisees were the religious leaders of the day, and many of them were in direct opposition to Jesus. They were his biggest battle as they had lost the heart for God. As we live to follow Jesus we can easily slip into the ways of the Pharisees if we are not careful. Some notable characteristics of the Pharisees are caring more about rules (doing) than the heart (being). They wanted to appear to be righteous but they took no time to examine their own heart. They loved for people to see them as important as they desired the spot light. They neglected to poor and didn’t fight for the marginalized people. We must examine ourselves. Do we focus on doing the right religious things rather than being the right person? Do we seek attention and leadership positions for self-gain? When we identify with the Pharisees we hinder people from entering the Kingdom of God, because the Kingdom is based not on religious rules but on love and mercy. Let’s identify with Jesus, who brings life, mercy, love, and humility into the world. Open up your heart to him, he loves you.