What was so wrong with their teachings? They were religious, after all. They prayed publicly. They gave money to the poor and homeless, and they supported financially their place of worship. They referenced the law of Moses, the prophets and followed the commentaries of their elders and rabbis. They were devout. So what was the problem at its core? What was this “leaven”?
Christ warned: “Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (Lk 12: 1). In a word, they were hypocrites. “Hypocrite” in biblical Greek means “a pretender.” Christ said as much. “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15: 7-9).
There it is. The Pharisees claimed to…
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