In thinking about the Pharisees form yesterday let us move into today and look at how Jesus rebukes the Pharisees in Matthew 23:5-7 “But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. 6 “They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.
You might wonder what Phylacteries are. Well Phylacteries are leather boxes worn by the Jews in which they carried scriptures. These Pharisees in order to draw attention to themselves wore larges, oversized boxes. Also the Children of Israel were commanded to put fringes or tassels on the borders of their garments to remind them of the commandments. Again to draw attention to them, these Pharisees made their tassels extremely large. These Pharisees had to have the front seat in the synagogue and the prominent seats at any feast.
I am reminded when I look at the Pharisees like this one here of the Christian whose main purpose in all that he does for God is to be seen. They want recognition for everything that they do and every activity that they are involved in is about them although they will tell you that it is not about them at all. What they do is make sure that everyone knows about their contribution to the success of any program or ministry effort – even if it is told in secret or it is said in confidence to everyone they come in contact with. These people are always trying to catch the Pastor or the leader’s eye so that they will recognize what a good church member they are. Their service to the church has little to do with serving God because it is self-serving.
They are the Christian who has forgotten what 1st Corinthians 10:31 says “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. This Pharisee seeks not to glorify God, but rather to glorify themself.
I am sure you know the type of Christian I am talking about and probably someone came to your mind who acts this way. I honestly want to challenge you to think – do I come to people’s minds when they read this or something like this?
What do you do with the person who is always trying to catch your eye so that you can tell them what a good Christian they are? Would you wear an oversized Phylactery or oversized tassels?