Summary: So you want to be a Pharisee and be in contradiction to the teachings and example set by Jesus? Watch out Jesus is going to humble you!

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So you want to be a Pharisee!

Thesis: So you want to be a Pharisee and be in contradiction to the teachings and example set by Jesus? Watch out Jesus is going to humble you!


Matthew 5:20 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 23:1-12 1Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

5“Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries£ wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’

8“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.£ 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.


Jesus reveals to us in chapter 23 that the leaders of the church of Israel where suffering from the common head trip called “The top down attitude!” The result of this mindset has caused them to miss the mark of righteousness. Hans Finzel addresses this mindset in his book “The Top ten Mistakes Leaders Make.”

The top down attitude is revealed in our text as:

Abusive authority

Deplorable Delegation

Lack of listening

Dictatorship in decision making

Lack of letting go

Egocentric manners

The Pharisee’s followed these same actions. Jesus addresses these distorted mindsets with leadership 101 from above in Matthew 23:1-12.

I. The top down leadership catastrophe in Israel’s leaders exposed by Jesus.

a. Jesus told the crowd and his disciples that this leadership style is not of God.

i. The leaders of Israel did sit in a divinely appointed position created by God. Therefore the people needed to listen to what they said.

1. Apparently they said the right things but did the opposite of they taught and knew to be true.

2. It tells us to make sure that you obey the teachings of God whether the person teaching them lives them or not.

3. The Teachers and Pharisee’s were good about telling and teaching people how to be holy and the importance of living holy lives.

a. But they did add to the truth man made rules and regulations.

b. The Historical Background on the leadership of Israel’s religious leaders.

i. See sermon notes from Doug Heck, Grace Bible Church on the Scribes and Pharisee’s.

4. They learned the importance of how to live for the Lord.

ii. BUT – now rings out in our message- It still rings all across the nation of Israel, across the world and through out time for all to pay attention to.

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