The Pharisees were basically good people. But for them, righteousness is focused on external obedience to the letter of the Law,
forgetting the more important things like mercy, sensitivity and concern for others.
Jesus, however, calls people to go beyond the externals. This righteousness should begin with the intention of the heart.
We cannot simply be good without being good inside. As human persons, we are capable of pretending to do what is externally good without meaning it inside.
But God wants us to be people with integrity: that the good we say or do externally is rightly coming from our heart.
The prophets of old admonished Israel because their hearts had turned away from the Lord.
Their sacrifices had become external acts but their hearts were full of malice, injustice, immorality, selfishness, and idolatry.
Their worship had become hollow actions. God called them to have a new heart and a new spirit.
That is also God’s call for us: a new heart and a new spirit. Jesus has shown us the way, living a life according to the heart of the Father.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2020