The Pharisees and Today’s Church: The Same Now as it Was Then

Matthew 21:42-46

42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. 45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. 46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

The Pharisees did not like Jesus, in fact it would likely be appropriate to say that they hated Jesus. The Pharisees were the driving force behind the eventual death of Jesus, why? Because He was in the way.

The Pharisees were by large the ruling faction of the day, they held sway and were dominant in the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of the Jews. Jesus represented a problem for the Pharisees – some of the people were listening to Jesus, which of course means the people were not listening to the hypocritical Pharisees.

If the Jews of Jesus day listened to the words of Jesus, they would turn away from the Pharisees, henceforth the Pharisees would lose their all-important position, and their power in Jewish society. It was not God that was most important to the Pharisees – it was power and position and all the trappings that went with it.

The Pharisees along with others that allied with them were foolish in the extreme. The Pharisees realized that Jesus was speaking to them directly in His parables. In verse 46 we see that the Pharisees desired to take Jesus by force, but would not as they regarded Him as a prophet and as well were afraid of the multitudes.

Woodrow Wilcox


Jesus said that the Pharisees (Matthew 23) sat in Moses seat, but instead of following the Word of God and teaching it properly as Moses did – the Pharisees made it up as they went along. When the Bible warns of following the commandments and traditions of men – the Pharisees are the preeminent example of this. Jesus even referred to the Pharisees as the children of Satan.
(John 8:39-47)

What does this have to do with today’s Church?


The Gentiles were brought into the Kingdom of Christ because the Jewish people in large part refused to believe in Jesus (Romans 11:17-24). The same is true today – there are many people who believe Jesus is and was real, but they don’t really believe in Him. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are a prime example of this, as they do not believe Jesus is God, same as the Pharisees did not. Another example is Islam, Muslims are taught that Jesus was a prophet – and that He also lied. Islam also teaches that all non-believers are to be killed, kind of remind you of the Pharisees and what they did to Jesus?

In verse 44 of Matthew 21, we are told that those who fall on this stone will be broken, those whom the stone falls on will be ground to powder – pretty ominous warning. The Bible is actually full of warnings on many things; we are warned repeatedly on NOT believing in Jesus. Yet untold numbers of people either do not believe, or say they believe, but betray by their actions that they do not in fact believe.

Many of today’s churches are no different than the Pharisees were. Precisely where in the Bible is homosexuality seen to be ok? Yet many denominations are ordaining gay pastors. Where in the Word of God is same-sex marriage approved? Yet many denominations are accepting this as ok. May denominations teach outright falsehoods – the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach Jesus is NOT God, Catholics teach that an impure soul goes to Purgatory and then to Heaven, Seventh-Day Adventists believe that upon death the body and the soul remain in the grave.

Nothing new under the sun

Ecclesiastes 1:9 says there is nothing new under the sun. Indeed, when we compare the Pharisees to some of today’s churches we see this is very true. God’s Word never lies, it may be confusing at times, but the Word of God does not lie.

Man throughout time has desired to take God’s Word – and subjugate it unto their own meaning rather then understanding it for what it was intended to be. If you don’t like what the Bible says, no problem, change the meaning of the text to suit your needs. Or, simply ignore it all together.

It is no different today then it was in Jesus time. Changing or altering the Word of God makes it no less true, and those who do so – do so to their own peril. If you don’t like what the Word of God says, change your opinion.

If a church or a person is bringing people to Christ; only the Christ that they bring people to is not the One the Bible teaches of – then what good have any of these accomplished?

Matthew 7:21-23

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

If you would like guidance in accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, you can click the link below.

The Must Read Interview with Satan – How to be Saved

This article is printed with the permission of the author(s). Opinions expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of American Clarion or Dakota Voice LLC.

Comment Rules: Please confine comments to salient ones that add to the topic; Profanity is not allowed and will be deleted; Spam, copied statements and other material not comprised of the reader’s own opinion will be deleted.

Since 2014 The Olive Branch Report, the definitive Christian Magazine for today has featured the insightful writing and reporting of Christian blogger Greg Holt. His writing has been featured on American Prophet, American Clarion, Not Ashamed of the Gospel, and others. Greg is also the publisher of Inspirational Christian Blogs. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. There is no other.
Greg Holt
View all posts by Greg Holt
Gregs website
  • CoyoteJohnKerr

    The Bible is an inconvenience to those who are looking to live a life according to the dictates of their own fallen nature. Man has always tried to usurp the authority of God since the Garden. Todays “church” goes along to get along, rejecting God’s very specific commandments to the contrary. “But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48. The modern “church” would be wise to heed those words.