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WHERE THE PHARISEES WENT WRONG

Robert Coleman talks about where the Pharisees went wrong: "The Pharisees had so much respect for the original set of scriptures and wanted to protect them so desperately that they started adding to them. Then, after a while, it not only seemed helpful to make additions but absolutely essential. For instance, if God said we could not work on the Sabbath, then don't even pick grain to eat, just to play it safe. Don't even heal people because that might be a borderline case. These traditions and additions accumulated into hundreds over the years. Soon it became apparent that they far from optional. These laws became every inch as important as the scriptural laws and in some instances more crucial. The Pharisees also saw their mission as creating new laws as the times changed. If they felt the Scriptures contained no moral laws to control something modern, then they would manufacture a law and announce that it was binding on man and God. New situations could not be ignored, and if there were gaps in the Scriptures, someone had to fill them. Jesus found it very difficult to appreciate anyone changing God's laws. For him, it was fine if the Pharisees wanted to fast twice a week. They could go to it with great pleasure. The flak came when they said, "We instituted this new law, and God expects you to keep it." At this point Jesus balked and told them to back off."

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