“… most often when people speak of Pharisees, they are really speaking pharisaically”


Ever been accused of being a Pharisee?  It’s not a pleasant thing.  Ever called someone a Pharisee?  If so, this piece by Sister Theresa Aletheia Noble might be relevant:

I find it frustrating when people speak about the Pharisees as if they were just a historical example of what not to do.

Something outside of us.

In fact, most often when people speak of Pharisees, they are really speaking pharisaically: “Thank goodness I am not like those people!”

Yet, it is obvious that Jesus did not just consider these men to be examples of what not to do. For one thing, he is often hanging around them. He goes to their houses. He eats their food. He spends time with them, answers their questions.

Jesus loved the Pharisees.

I don’t think he would speak so harshly to them if he did not love them. It’s almost like Jesus is crying out in frustration, “You are almost there! Just follow me, a little bit closer!”

St. Paul was a Pharisee, which is evidence that misdirected zealousness and scrupulosity can be redirected into an astounding zeal for evangelization and holiness.

This is why I think it is important for faithful Christians to pay attention to the Pharisees and Jesus’ critique of their behavior. If we are going to Church, know our faith, and put God first, then we are all in danger of behaving like Pharisees. In fact, we can be fairly certain that we will act like them at one time or another.

If we seek to recognize when our behavior is similar to theirs, in the negative, we can strive to become a person who observes the Christian faith with the intensity and balance that Paul exemplified and Jesus encouraged.

With that in mind, here are five signs of a modern-day Pharisee based on Scripture…

Read her 5 signs… number 4 particularly spoke to me.

The hope is that you’ll ponder these signs the next time you’re called a Pharisee… or, more relevantly, the next time you call someone else one.

Carry on.

Crossposted at Brutally Honest.

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