[So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived?
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.”] (Jn. 7:47-49)
Seriously Pharisees? Jesus criticizes the Pharisees pretty harshly, throughout the Gospels, and there are times we are left scratching our heads as to why. In large part this is because we are so far removed from the contemporary situation that we do not understand exactly what He is getting at. However, here we see how hardened their hearts had become. Here they overtly look down upon and degrade their fellow Jews who are less educated and informed than themselves.
The Pharisees were the religious rock stars, those who followed the letter of the law darn near perfectly. Yet, as Jesus points out numerous times, their hearts were far from God. “This people honors Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me” (Mt. 15:8). How far gone their hearts must have been for them to talk so degradingly about hose around them.
Are there times that you and I act similarly? How often do our everyday interactions with others contradict our religious convictions and practices? Do you and I degrade others by our words and/or actions? Do we think less of others because they are not as “educated” or “enlightened” as we believe ourselves to be? With the celebration of our Lord’s passion, death, and resurrection rapidly approaching, it’s time to really look within ourselves. It is time to return to the way of life Jesus pointed out to us so that our lips as well as our hearts are united to Jesus.