My wife recently told me of a conversation she had with a Baptist who called her a “Pharisee.” That got me to wondering if most people even know what being “Pharisaical” means. Most of the time, people consider someone “Pharisaical” who demands that the Bible is strictly followed.
The Pharisees were condemned in the New Testament, not because they strictly adhered to the Bible, but because they went beyond the word of God (Matthew 15:9). In Matthew 23:23, Jesus did not condemn the sacriﬁcing of small herbs; rather, He encouraged it. He condemned the Pharisees for leaving undone other laws that were equally binding: practicing justice, mercy, and faith.
Jesus wants us to strictly adhere to His law. People criticize those of us who want to conscientiously follow the Bible. In so doing, they feel justiﬁed in doing less than is required. Before you call someone a “Pharisee,” remember that our obedience to God is dependent on our love for God (John 14:15).