Fake Pharisees



“You’re like manicured grave plots, grass clipped and the flowers bright, but six feet down it’s all rotting bones and worm-eaten flesh. People look at you and think you’re saints, but beneath the skin you’re total frauds” (Matthew 23:27-28 MSG) 

Beware! There are modern-day hypocrites living among us. Chances are you have met one or two in your time. They build their own platforms and blow their own trumpets. They are godless rather than godly. If anyone doesn’t quite make their mark they are tossed aside and trampled underfoot. If you ever meet one I suggest you make an about-turn and scarper.  But why is it that they are so hard to spot? Why is it that they are so hard to figure out? 

They have a few tricks up their sleeves for sure; they disguise their blemishes by sticking on fake smiles and speaking sweet words. When your back is turned they will spill your secrets like a sewer. These phoneys paraded around, teaching whatever takes their fancy and looking down their noses at everyone and anyone who isn’t as blue-blooded as they are. They make it out that they are in a purity-pageant but they are really in a criminal-carnival. 

Having said all that, I feel a sense of conviction. Maybe, just maybe, I need to hear this message more than anyone else? I can be horribly hypocritical at times, it’s as if I’ve disowned the Way and trekked along my own track. I would go as far as saying that Jesus would be down-right ashamed of me and my actions. Something God has brought to my attention in recent days is that if I’m ashamed of the Gospel I’m a shame to the Gospel. Pretty hard-hitting? 

So if I hang my head and can’t even look someone in the eye and tell them I love Jesus, I’m a phoney and a fake. I can go for days on end without even so much as speaking His name, let alone bringing Him into the conversation. I really truly meant it when I say I’m madly and deeply in love with Jesus, so how can I not share Him from sunrise to sunset with anyone and everyone who crosses my path? I just don’t make much sense at times. 

Wrapping it up, there’s only one way to figure out a counterfeit Christian, watch their every move. Their walk fouls their faith. They talk the talk but stagger and stumble rather than walking the walk, “They talk a good line, but they don’t live it. They don’t take it into their hearts and live it out in their behaviour. It’s all spit-and-polish veneer.” (Matthew 23:3 MSG). I’m serious when I say this, there’s a world of difference between being religious and being righteous.  Which one are you? 

Question: are you religious? Or righteous? 

Watch out, fake Pharisees are never too far away. These sinister saints can drag you down and pollute your faith if you aren’t too careful. I would take a good long look in the Mirror though, and see if a fake Pharisee is staring back at you. You never know; they could be closer than you think. 


“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but within they are full of extortion (prey, spoil, plunder) and grasping self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and of the plate, so that the outside may be clean also” (Matthew 23:25-26 Amplified). Say sorry for your sins, and be specific!

Read through Matthew 23:1-39 and reflect. How do you see yourself? Open your eyes! 

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