BECK index / Contents / Index to Gospel Passages


57. On the Pharisees.

Noticing that a Pharisee was judging him for not washing before he ate with him, Jesus criticized the Pharisees for following the outward customs while not being pure at all in their inner consciousness. God also created our minds and emotions; if these are loving, then our behavior will be pure. However, the Pharisees neglected love and justice, and they were greedy and vain and conceited, thinking they were above others because they followed certain rituals. Like unmarked graves they will die, corrupt, and be forgotten.

He criticized the lawyers also, because they had studied and learned but did not use their knowledge to really teach or assist others. People assumed they knew, and their bad examples blocked others from learning and practicing what is really true and good. Resenting these things the scholars and Pharisees became angry and defensive and used the discussions to try to hurt Jesus by making him look bad and wrong. Jesus warned his disciples not to fall into hypocrisy like the Pharisees who claim to be holy and knowledgeable but do not practice it.

Jesus knew that it was not his work to be a judge in disagreements regarding physical possessions; he encouraged people to share rather than to separate and divide. He warned people to be careful of the greed for material possessions, for these are not life and will pass away. This point is exemplified by the man who put all his time and energy into acquiring the necessities of life and surplus wealth for the future so that he could sit back and relax. But when he had accomplished this task, the purpose of his life was completed, and so he died.

All of the possessions and attachments of the ego will fade away, but the spiritual values evolve the soul and make it wealthy in wisdom and goodness. God is ready to give people the Spirit; therefore it is better to convert one's possessions into good works by selling them and giving to those in need. Through loving actions like this the soul becomes magnified with the infinite supply of Spirit which is everlasting and incorruptible. Each person must choose what they value most, and our consciousness (hearts) will focus on what we value.

Jesus was not content with the status quo but brought an active energy that would stimulate people to burn off their karma and purify themselves. He himself was to be reborn through his great conflict and purging conflagration. He did not intend to pacify people in their negativity, but he stimulated people to make a definite choice so that often those of the same family would oppose each other in their values. The weather is predicted by means of certain physical signs; but how much more important is it to know the consciousness of the times?

Harmony 57 * Synthesis 57
58. Healing on the Sabbath Harmony 58 * Synthesis 58 * Interpretation 58