My name is Luis, and I am a Pharisee. I’ve been clean for 48 hrs.

Posted: February 19, 2011 in Leadership, Me and God, Me and people, The Bible, The Church

This has been a very interesting week;  I came to the conclusion of a series of lessons I learned throughout the last few years, which brought me to realize the depth of one of my sins.

As I’ve been reading the book of John, it is inevitable to realize the zeal, passion and apparent anger that Jesus showed towards this well known group of religious leaders: The Pharisees.

You can make the case that Jesus yielded at them, provoked them, was always in their face, told them they were “whitewashed tombs”, “hypocrites”, “sons of you father the devil”, “murderers”, “brood of vipers” and so on.

The interesting thing is that not once –that I can think of, did Jesus referred to anyone else in this way. Not to the sinful woman at the well or the sinful materialistic young ruler; neither to the demon possessed nor Judas the traitor himself.

We can spend pages studying and analyzing the potential scenarios and reasons why Jesus reacted like this toward the Pharisees. One thing is evident and a personal conclusion to me as I read the Gospels:  what bothered Jesus the most was that the Pharisees, although they knew the ‘letter’ of the law and were scholars,  they gave much more weight and importance to the obedience of their own interpretation of the law and their commentators’ opinions for ‘procedures’ (their method), rather than the plain basic message of God’s Word (God’s goal). In doing so, in putting their opinion as the ‘only method’ above God’s goals, they kept people from reaching and knowing the true Merciful and Loving God; they divided their people and brought judgment to themselves.

And that’s what I was doing, that’s what I have been doing for a long time….
Every time I condemned (publicly or privately) any person or ministry as not ‘sound’ because they didn’t do things the way I thought it should be done (my method), or didn’t interpret things my way. Sometimes I would even deny acting like this but my actions proved otherwise.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe the Bible is very clear on key concepts that are unchanging and indubitable (Jesus is the one and only son of God who came to earth as a man to die for our sins and now we can receive salvation by Grace through repentance and confession by faith etc etc…). However, I have learned that it is a totally sinful pharisaical attitude to criticize and condemn people doing things different than ‘my way’, especially when (a) The Bible is not dogmatic (very clear) on the specific methods to be or not to be used, (b) The Bible gives space for a variety of interpretation in methods, (c) God’s goal is being achieved –fruitfully.

I have purposed to continue “growing in knowledge of Jesus” and follow Jesus command: “as you go, make disciples baptizing them , teaching them to obey…” that’s the goal.

Jesus himself said: in Mark 9:40:  “he who is not against us is for us”

And Paul followed in Philippians: “Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill… What then? .. in every way, .. Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice”

  1. Angela says:

    I appreciate your example of humility and always comparing yourself to the Word of God. You are the kind of guy I want to marry. Wait… I already married you! YAY!

  2. Sandra says:

    Thank you. Until we learn that it is the Holy Spirit working in us rather than the moral requirements we manage to follow, we will never live lives that come anywhere near what Christ intends. We are righteous in the eyes of God via faith alone in Jesus Christ alone and His work on the cross. AMEN!

  3. […] 2. My name is Luis, and I am a Pharisee. I’ve been clean for 48 hrs  […]

  4. […] Recent Comments What are the evidenc… on What does spiritual growth loo…Angela on What does spiritual growth loo…What does spiritual … on Mature or not mature?Blog’s 1 year … on Born IdentityBlog’s 1 year … on My name is Luis, and I am a Ph… […]

  5. […] I am not advocating for a watering down of the gospel message or condoning sinful behavior; sin is sin. If your conclusion is that homosexuality, divorce, unbelief, abortion, and preaching a false gospel/doctrine is a sin, fine! Believe it, preach it, and most important, live by it. However, let’s not ignore that lying, deceiving, hating, stealing, making ourselves God and taking His glory as ours, speaking harsh words to others, insulting, calling names, presumption and thinking we know it all, and are always right, thinking we understand the Bible better than others, and assuming others don’t read their Bibles or are not as serious scholars as we are, or are not honest seekers of the truth –or that they are not even saved true Christians because of how they act, just might be just as much a sin and damaging, as the ones you denounce. (I’ve been guilty of this myself). […]

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