"There is no doubt that, in one way, the Pharisees were good men…It was the great merit of the Pharisees that they tried to take their religion seriously. They sought to make, not a mere gesture, but a real effort to attain righteousness… Their greatest mistake…was the supposition… that they had adhered so rigorously to the rule of perfection, they had actually attained it… [Christ] also warned against such ceremonial titles as “Rabbi”ie. “Doctor” and “Father”(Matt.23:8-10) and He prefaced this by showing how ridiculous the scribes made themselves by their little works of pride which distinguished them from other men…Mark’s version of this humorous exposure is, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go about in long robes, and to have salutations in the market places and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts”(Mark12:38, 39). It is not really surprising that this text comes to the mind of a good many literate men while attending college commencements or church suppers. "
(Excerpt from The Humor of Christ)
These are men who:
are trying to pursue righteousness
get too caught up in the "rules" of Christianity
begin to believe they are perfect, so Jesus mocks their inconsistencies
enjoyed being honored for their prestige saying its for God
I feel like a lot of these things are things i am struggling with as a Christian and a Wesleyan. I know my heart is right, but the differences between motivation and the qualities above are such a fine line that it is scary how easily i could mistake myself for a Pharisee. I wonder how many times Jesus would mock me for putting unnecessary rules on myself and others? I wonder how many times Jesus would mock me for the white lies i tell to keep up my "Christian" appearance? I wonder how many times Jesus would question how hypocritical i was with how flexible i am with my own spiritual convictions? Are we too close to being Pharisees?
(Disclaimer: I love the Wesleyan Church.... this is mere speculation and contemplation)