“If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” ~Luke 7.39


“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” ~ John 6.40


All four Gospels record moments when the Pharisees went head-to-head with Jesus … or at least they attempted to. The Pharisees had preconceived notions of who the Savior would be, how He would act and what He would do. They were not prepared for someone who would challenge their notions at every encounter and so effectively debate their arguments.


In some respects, the world today acts like the Pharisees. It is only too happy to share its notions of what a spiritual life should look like, how an individual can get to heaven and even its opinions on the authenticity of Jesus.



Jesus vs. the Pharisees


A comparison of Jesus and the Pharisees gives us insight into what to watch out for as the world does its best to discourage people from knowing Jesus and experiencing eternal life with him.

Jesus Pharisees
  • Knew the whole picture
  • Lived in God’s reality
  • Looked forward to what was to come
  • Sought and lived the truth from His Father
  • Motivated by love
  • Saw worth in people
  • Glorified the Father through devotion
  • Believed what they lived was the full measure of reality
  • Created their own reality
  • Looked backward
  • Looked to the law for truth
  • Led by legalism
  • Saw value in deeds
  • Thought false piety was glorifying to God


No one who has ever lived has been as selfless as Jesus. Nor has anyone lived out the truth as authentically as Jesus. Jesus’ sole focus was to do His Father’s will and in doing so to lead and encourage all who came after Him to do the same. He knew what it was like to be loved by the Father. He wanted everyone else to experience that same love, and to also avoid the final judgment of eternal separation from God.



Jesus vs. the World


As we evaluate leaders today, we can look at their character and values to see whether they are worth paying attention to. Are they grounded in the truths of scripture? Are they motivated by love or do they encourage legalism? Is their purpose to truly glorify God? Do they value people over deeds?


So much in the world today seeks our attention. It is only those who emulate Jesus and encourage following Him who are truly worthy of our time.