Matt. 23; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 20:45-47
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INTRODUCTION. It was inevitable that there would be conflict between Jesus and the
Pharisees. Early in his ministry, Jesus was "grieved for the hardness of their [Pharisees'] hearts" (Mark 3:5). Jesus' humble life and teachings were opposed to their proud, self-righteous attitude and manner of life. His teachings were aimed at the hearts and minds of the people–if the thoughts of people are pure, then their actions will be pure also. "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil..." (Luke 6:45).
The Pharisees were the most numerous and popular sect of the Jews. As Jesus' popularity with the multitudes grew and his criticisms of the Pharisees' hypocrisy increased, the Pharisees' opposition to Jesus intensified. They considered him an enemy and took counsel against him how they might destroy him (Mark 3:6).