Beware the Pharisees

By Vincent Lee Alston The boxes… all made ready.  Assorted compartments neatly stacked.  Sharpies, in hand, scratch out suitable labels.  Knickknacks of prejudices… here – the trinkets of trivial idealisms… over there and a plethora of petty hatreds, often masquerading as God-sanctioned zeal, all in their place. The trenched are dug.  Weapons – locked and […]

3 week diet for women
By Vincent Lee Alston
Vincent-Lee-Alston

The boxes… all made ready.  Assorted compartments neatly stacked.  Sharpies, in hand, scratch out suitable labels.  Knickknacks of prejudices… here – the trinkets of trivial idealisms… over there and a plethora of petty hatreds, often masquerading as God-sanctioned zeal, all in their place.

The 3 Week Diet

The trenched are dug.  Weapons – locked and loaded – the enemy – clearly in sight.  Thus are the affairs of a society, lost on the barren plains of dysfunction and win-at-all-cost, self-aggrandizing ambition.

A few years ago, a friend invited me to a fund-raiser for a political campaign.  I happen to mention to one of the fund-raisers that Republicans might have a few good ideas as well.  Through a tight jaw and clinched teeth, she hissed in a voice that could surely give small children nightmares… “Nothing good can come from the Republican Party.”  I never went back.

Two thousand years ago Jesus admonished his disciples to beware of the Pharisees.  They were so mired in tradition, laws and self-righteousness that they rejected this Jesus, the “one” whom they had prophesied about, undoubtedly preached about and were waiting on; the “one”  whom they worshiped and supposedly loved – until He came. 

After all, He was wearing the wrong clothes, hanging out in all the wrong places, talking to the wrong people and had ignored long established customs.

So instead of shifting their feeble minds and flawed perspective to acquiesce to Truth, they sought to filter Truth through the narrow confines of their antiquated legalism.

When you close yours eyes and “image” Jesus what color is He?  I am not trying to make a case for ethnic bragging rights but rather the opposite.  If He came in a form other than the one you’ve imagined, would He still be as holy in your sight? 

If He pronounced his name HEH-soos instead of JEE-zuss would you still rejoice at his coming or query Him for His green card?


As we approach another election that is bound to be fraught with contention – maybe we should take a step back… count to ten and reevaluate ourselves.

We all have our respective ideologies and prejudices but shouldn’t we subjugate these to Truth rather than the inverse?  Truth is too pure – too vast – too  transcendent to fit into the confines of any man-made ideology or human construct.

Maybe it’s time we all unpack the boxes, scratch off the labels and instead of killing the “enemies” without – maybe it’s time to slay the Pharisees within.  

The 3 Week Diet