Text: Philippians 3.5-6
The Pharisees were one of two main groups of religious leaders in Jesus’ day that unofficially ran the religious affairs of Israel. Highly respected in their community, the Pharisees zealously followed the Old Testament laws as well as their own religious traditions. So much so that they pledged to obey every minute detail of God’s law, including the more than 600 “details” which eventually became more important than Scripture itself.
While they taught the Scriptures and the law to the people, they became proud of their “rightness.” It’s this self-righteousness, this “measuring up,” we see exhibited in the Pharisee of Luke 18 and in another Pharisee, the Apostle Paul. In fact, as he describes himself in Philippians 3.5-6, there were probably very few Pharisees who could surpass Paul in “righteousness.”
Measured against others, the Pharisees excelled. Measured against God’s standard, they fell far short. This leads to our One Big Question. . . When do you tend to measure your “rightness” by comparing yourself to others, rather than comparing yourself to God’s standard? Discuss this question with your small group or a trusted friend.