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Summary: If you are more rules than relationship, You might be a Pharisee

INTRODUCTION

„X Read some of the ¡§You might be from Missouri¡¨ jokes.

„X Have you ever walked out of a restroom with a trail to toilet paper trailing behind you? Have you ever been caught in one of those embarrassing situations in which everyone around you knew that something was not quite right except for you? You knew something was not right when you noticed everyone laughing at you or someone had to come up and tell you something wrong.

„X What about some of the Redneck jokes out there. Have you ever listened to them and said, ¡§what¡¦s wrong with that?¡¨

„X Sometimes we have deeper problems that take courage for someone to confront us with.

„X This is the problem that the religious leaders of Jesus day had. They had a deep problem that Jesus was going to confront them with.

„X The religious leaders let their religion get in the way of a true relationship with God. These people got so wrapped up in their little man-made rules that they lost their love and passion for God.

„X Jesus was always in trouble with these people because he did not keep their man-made rules. The religious leaders were so focused on their religion that they could not even recognize who Jesus was.

„X There’s a little Pharisee in all of us. Harmful though it is, we find a lot of security in our iron bars and solid walls.... Tragically, this ball-and-chain mentality keeps us from giving ourselves in fresh, innovative ways to others. - Charles R. Swindoll (1934- )

„X We fall into this trap sometimes. I have come across people who know all the ¡§rules¡¨ they know how to say the right things, but along the way they have lost their faith and love for Jesus. They traded their love for Jesus for guarding rules that more times than not have very little to do with loving Jesus.

„X I heard a sermon in chapel once at college where the speaker proudly proclaimed that he was a ¡§Christian Pharisee¡¨. Is that what Jesus called us to be? We are called to be faithful, we are called to be obedient, BUT we are also called to love the Lord God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, we are also to love our neighbor as ourselves.

„X In our text today we will see the marks of a Pharisee. Let us look at these marks and see if we are hooked on rules or are we hooked on Jesus.

You might be a Pharisee if¡K

SERMON

I. YOU WORK MORE AT LOOKING GOOD THAN DOING GOOD 37-42

A. Jesus was invited to dine at the home of a Pharisee. It was tradition that a person was to dip their hands into a container of water to make sure that they were ceremonially clean. Jesus did not do this. The Pharisee probably had look on his face of surprise. Jesus starts speaking to him.

B. The religious leaders were good at looking good.

C. Can you imagine going to a person¡¦s house to eat. From a distance, the table looks great, the dishes look very clean, but then when you get to the table you notice that the plates and cups have old moldy looking stuff growing in the inside of them.

D. The religious leaders spent so much time trying to look good on the outside, they forgot to clean themselves up in the inside.

E. In verse 41 Jesus is telling them to give what is inside of the plates and cups to the needy without putting on a show, just do it for the love of God. Just do it to help others.

F. In verse 42 we have the first of six ¡§woes¡¨ in this passage.

G. EXPLAIN VERSE 42. It is like inviting someone over for supper, then you spend so much time cleaning up for the dinner that you forget to cook the dinner.

H. If we keep all of the ¡§rules¡¨ and forget to reach out in love to other people, we are missing the boat. If we are spending more time trying to look good than we are trying to clean up our hearts, we have missed the boat.

I. In Matthew 23:23-24 Jesus said on another occasion to the religious leaders, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. "You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

J. We can look good be coming to church and doing other things that others can see, but to clean up our hearts takes discipline.

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