Pharisee: “a member of an ancient Jewish sect, distinguished by strict observance of the traditional and written law, and commonly held to have pretensions to superior sanctity; a self-righteous person; a hypocrite.”
The Pharisees were at various times a political party, a social movement, and a school of thought in the Holy Land during the time of Second Temple Judaism. They were members of the ruling class of Judaism and also determined acceptable social and ethical rules with which traditional Jewish people were required to live. Initially they were revered as being above, better educated, more knowledgeable, more righteous than everyday Jewish people. But as time wore on, their hypocrisy and narcissism was exposed to the world, and many of the common people became haters of the Pharisees. In the 1st century, it became common to refer to anyone that was disliked as a “Pharisee.” Members of the general population avoided interaction with Pharisees at all costs.
After several centuries of traditional civil and religious domination of Jewish society, Jesus burst onto the scene. He systematically began to question everything that the Pharisees had done and said for many years. Those things had in essence become the “social” law of the Jews and were installed and considered actual laws. When Jesus showed up, he began to personally question the Pharisees and the social and religious infrastructure they had installed in the Jewish community. And he typically did the questioning in very public settings. The Pharisees had always held positions of authority and leadership that (until Jesus) had never been questioned. His questioning changed things — many things.
Needless to say, He did not get the answers he wanted. In fact, he often responded to a question WITH a question, making those who asked think through their questions and their substance. This environment of questioning of those in positions of authority opened Pandora’s Box. His proverbial “line in the sand” with the Pharisees kept the religious atmosphere charged as there were constant confrontations between Jesus and the Pharisees — he to aggravate them and they to diminish in the public the perception that He may really be someone important. But People really liked Him, His message, and his bombastic way of communication. And People really disliked Pharisees. As His crowds began to grow, the crowds at traditional meetings led by the Pharisees and other Jewish leaders dwindled. The ruling class then began to take action against Jesus in just about every way they could. It became obvious he was a threat to traditional Judaism, and they had to stop Him. It took them a few years, but they did.
The Pharisee methods were often humorous. They discovered soon after beginning confrontations with Jesus that not only was he popular with the people, he was a pretty smart guy too. So they tried traditional gossip: The Pharisees said, “Are you carried away like the rest of the rabble? You don’t see any of the leaders believing in him, do you? Or any from the Pharisees? It’s only this crowd, ignorant of God’s Law, that is taken in by him—and damned.” (interpretation: “Nobody believes in this kook but stupid people. Do you see any leaders following him? The only ones that do are these nuts that have allowed themselves to be taken in, and they’re crazy!”)
For sake of time I’ll stipulate here what most of you already know: the Pharisees found enough support after their exhaustive efforts to discredit Jesus and implicate Him in a purported plot to usurp the King and takeover the Jews as their King. The crime for doing this if He did it: death by crucifixion. You know the rest of the story: they killed Him.
I bring this up to make a comparison: we see many similarities in the story of Jesus and the Pharisees in our political process today. Don’t jump to conclusions: I’m NOT comparing Donald Trump to Jesus. What I am pointing out is that in the political and social environment then, there was a class of people who claimed power simply because someone appointed them: Pharisees. They pretty much took control politically and socially within the Jewish community. Today we have a large group of people who fall into a similar grouping. There is a group of people — some elected, some appointed, some hired — that assumed their roles as leaders in the Republican Party. They made many promises to the Jewish people of the things they would, would not do, would allow and not allow, and would make rules for every process for the smooth operation of the religious and social Jewish communities. Establishment Republicans (many call them “RINO’s” — Republicans in Name Only) have fallen into a similar role as did the Pharisees. Of course Trump within this scenario is in the role of Christ. Substantively, the RINO’s are operating the same as did the Pharisees. And they are seeing their popularity and acceptance from Americans dwindle quickly as they watch the peoples’ support for President Trump rise.
Another irony when comparing these two stories: RINO’s want President Trump out of office — quickly. They did NOT want him nominated to be the G.O.P. representative, they did NOT want him elected, and now they want him GONE. And they’re willing to do just about anything to make that happen. They feed information about the Trump Administration to the Press, much of which is not true. They fake public support of the President and his agenda while working behind the scenes to do their best to destroy it. For 8 years they made promises to Americans of the many things they would do once they gained control of the House, Senate, and White House. When voters believed them and gave them their wishes, RINO’s literally sat down on their hands and only figuratively “showed” effort to fulfill the promises they made to voters in support of President Trump.
Although we know what happened in the Biblical version of this story, we do not know the end of the current Pharisee saga. They killed Jesus. This group is trying to do so — well figuratively. But no doubt they want Him gone and have unified with those across the aisle for assistance. Jesus met his demise outside of the Capitol city of Jerusalem. These Pharisees want to take Trump out in Washington, D.C. — the Capitol. In his hypocritical trial, Jesus was “convicted” by testimony of innuendo, made up stories, and false accusations. President Trump faces them every day from the Media and has for more than a year. And those Media bashings consistently ignore truth and are comprised of inference, innuendo, and all out lies. They are designed to do one thing: kill the President.
Let’s compare a few of the policies each proposed that got them in trouble: In Matthew 12, several incidents are reported in which Jesus did things that set the Pharisees off: he instructed them to allow people to do necessary work on Sundays, and he healed a man with a withered hand…on Sunday. Both were prohibited by Jewish rule.
Donald Trump issued executive orders instructing the federal government to enforce existing immigration laws that had been written, passed, and signed into law Constitutionally but that had been ignored by his predecessor. The RINO’s pretty much sat quietly when he did so, but refused to support those executive orders instead of supporting the President as they each had promised to do during the election.
Examples like these go on and on and on. I’ll stop here and summarize the comparisons:
No, Donald Trump is not an incarnation of Jesus and Establishment Republicans are not Pharisees. But the similarities are stark. It shows that in every culture and society in history, there has always been a politically elite class and a working class. The elitists make all the rules and the working men and women do all the work detailed in the elite class’s plans. This was true then and is true now. The “little guy” in both of these instances is always left out of any conversation about issues with existing laws and suggested changes. It is that way now and was then.
The Pharisees told lie upon lie and gave false witness and testimony over and over again for one reason only: to get rid of Jesus. The RINO’s and the alt-Left Media constantly create false narratives and fake evidence and hollow accusations that are complete falsehoods and shout those allegations from the rooftops to try and turn legitimate supporters of the President to the Leftist causes. Back then the Pharisees were successful at getting rid of Jesus. The book is still out on Trump’s viability. I gotta say: if anyone can take a bull by the horns and change his mind, it is Donald Trump. At this point I think the odds are 50/50 that the Pharisees will win. I pray that does not happen.
One really good thing in the story of Jesus is that it has a great ending: even though they killed Jesus, He’s still in the picture. Trump of course is not divine and does not have the ability to hang around after he might be taken out. But what is good going on for the President is those RINO’s in Congress only have a potential market there of 535 votes — the number of members in the House and Senate. Americans have about 120 million votes. They voted for Trump once and put him in the White House. The continued efforts by the RINO’s to oust the President with the help of the alt-Left Media in my opinion will fall short. Why? Americans see the amazing accomplishments that have occurred under Trump, even if the Media refuse to report it.
The bottom line is “The Truth will Out.” The truth is we are on the right track with this President. Give him a shot. He’s given us better results than did the President he replaced. I bet if we leave him alone and Congress gives him even a smidgen of support for those things wanted by most Americans, he’ll be fine.