Just because two parties disagree with each other doesn’t automatically make one right.
Take the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
They disagreed with each other about angels, the afterlife, etc.
Jesus disagreed with the Sadducees’ beliefs.
And with the Pharisees’ practices.
Who was right?
But He really took on the Pharisees. And I think I understand why.
If, like the Saducees, you really don’t believe in an afterlife … you don’t believe in consequences for your actions … well, it would at least make sense if you acted the way you believe. You would live for now, and live for yourself.
But if, like the Pharisees, you believe and profess that right and wrong matter because God will judge … it doesn’t make a lick of sense for you to
- Shut the doors of the kingdom in peoples’ faces.
- Make it harder and harder for them to enter.
- Travel extensively to win converts, then make them even more judgmental than yourself.
- Tithe the tiniest herbs and spices but fail to show justice, mercy or faithfulness.
- Be finicky about washing the outside of a cup yet let your inner self become filthy.
- Judge others by your interpretations and standards.
- Complain that a healing on the Sabbath is more than the allowable amount of work.
- Recoil from the touch of a sinner bearing perfume, without recognizing oneself as a sinner, too.
- Have the audacity to thank God that you are not like someone else that He has made in His image.
Insist that only a friend to demons would be responsible for casting them out and for giving sight to the blind.
Oh, I could go on and on.
But I just did.
The Sadducees didn’t believe, and – as one of my astute Bible instructors helpfully pointed out in college – “That made them sad, you see.”
However, the Pharisees didn’t practice what they believed and taught.
That means they weren’t fair, I see.
And I think I see why, at a ratio of about six to one in Scripture, He was so much more frequently ticked off at the Pharisees than the Sadducees.