What comes to mind when you hear the word “Pharisee”? someone who’s judgemental, legalistic, more interested in rules than people?
But did you know the Pharisees weren’t always the bad guys? At a time when the Jewish people were under threat by empires and new ideas, the Pharisees fought to preserve Jewish culture through its traditions and customs. They thought it was up to all Jews to hold onto their distinct identity and remain faithful to God.
But the Pharisees went too far. With the best of intentions, they became obsessed with rules and regulations, until tradition became more important to them than people. Jesus had to remind the Pharisees that God had not instructed his people to be good rule followers, he had told them to love one another.
Have you ever let tradition become more important than people?
Today’s Thought for Lent is from David