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“The Pharisees were so rigid in their religion that they were unable to respond to and engage the world around them. Thus, they rejected John as being too mournful and ascetic, and Christ as being too merciful and joyous.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Luke 7:31-34)

“Each time we confess our sins, receive Communion, and otherwise attend to our spiritual selves, we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts, and a transformation takes place. But if we use the Church simply as a cultural fix, we become Pharisees and bring spiritual stagnation, or even spiritual death, upon ourselves.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“The Pharisees’ weakness was that they were content to obey the laws outwardly without allowing God to change their hearts (or attitudes)...God judges our hearts as well as our deeds, for it is in the heart that our real allegiance lies.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 5:20)

“…the boast of fasting did no good to the Pharisee, although he fasted twice in the week, only because he exalted himself.” (Saint Athanasios the Great)

“We need to purge our inner Pharisee—our concern with looking spiritual, our desire to create the criteria for everyone else’s behavior, our arrogant tendency to have all the answers, our penchant to perform meaningless religious rituals.” (Lisa Harper)

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