The Gospels: How Not to Be a Pharisee

What do we have in common with the people who received the brunt of Jesus' criticism?

Product Type: Digital Download

Sessions: 6

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This six-session course looks at Jesus' interaction with a group of first-century Jewish religious leaders called Pharisees. As revealed in the four Gospels, these Pharisees received the brunt of Jesus' criticism. The ability to see sin in others and ignore it in your own heart is one of the distinguishing characteristics of a Pharisee. Unfortunately, this tendency is as common today as it was in Jesus' time. This course will help you learn to pursue God with an open heart.

Session One

Getting to Know the Pharisees
Were the Pharisees good guys, bad guys, or us guys?
John 3:1–21

We often compare ourselves to people from Scripture. We easily relate to Peter's impulsiveness, Martha's busyness, or Job's struggles. But there are some people in the Bible to whom we never want to be connected. This study looks at why and how similar we may actually be.

Session Two

It's Easier to Know the Bible Than to Live the Bible
How to move beyond information and experience God's transformation.
Matthew 5:21–48; 13:1–23

The Pharisees failed to connect with the Maker of the Law relationally. That same blind spot is at the heart of the church's impotence today. We have read the Book but have failed to connect with the author of the Book.

Session Three

Public Performance Is Easier than Private Devotion
The power of authentic piety in a world that talks the talk.
Matthew 6:1–18; Luke 18:9–14

We often form a set of outward rules to adhere to, rather than inwardly live a holy life that pleases God. Like the Pharisees, we frequently do the right things with the wrong motives. This study will help us sort out what is really important and what is not.

Session Four

Pride Gives Way to Resentment
A lesson from the Prodigal's brother.
Luke 15:11–32

The "Parable of the Prodigal Son" is one of the most familiar of Jesus' stories. In this story, we usually identify with the younger brother being welcomed back into the family, but this study will examine the reaction of the older brother.

Session five

Tradition Becomes More Attractive than Truth
Why the church must fight against spiritual ruts.
Mark 7:6–23

We all have traditions—for example, whether Christmas presents should be opened on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. But when does tradition become a problem?

Session Six

Separation Can Lead to Isolation
Why the Pharisees liked bubbles, and why we should avoid them.
Matthew 9:9–13

The Pharisees were convinced that the key to maintaining purity was to live in isolation from those who they saw as being far from God. In fact, the word Pharisee means "separated one."

This Study Through the Bible Course Is based on the series builder "Adventures in Missing the Point" by Ed Rowell.