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Why was Jesus so hard on the Pharisees and the teachers of the law?

“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” Matthew 23:2-4

            Jesus didn’t like the religious representatives for God in Israel for a number of reasons.

·         They loved honor, respect and titles but did not earn any of it.

·         They kept people from a relationship with God.

·         They blindly guided people with terrible rules.

·         They followed the rules but forgot about justice, mercy and faithfulness.

·         They didn’t practice what they preached.

·         They strained out little matters but choked on the bigger ones.

·         They were hypocrites, clean and polished on the outside, but a dirty mess on the inside.

·         They honored righteous people in the past, but killed righteous people in the present.

Jesus wanted to point out what the Jewish faith had deteriorated into in order to show a new, more perfect way of living not by religion, but relationship.