The Pharisees and Sadducees thought they too, were religious experts. Throughout the gospels we see Jesus consistently exposing their insidious doctrine as being merely the commandments of men (the Mishnah –Oral Law). Of these human precepts, which were additional to the Torah, Jesus warned his disciples — “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.”

“Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:

‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ (Matthew 15:6-9)


He referred to this “leaven” as the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees (see Matthew 26:5-12)

On one of many occasions throughout the gospels, the Pharisees and Sadducees, seeking to put Jesus to the test, required that He would show them a sign from heaven:

“He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” And He left them and departed.” (Matthew 16:1-4)


Jesus is the ‘heavenly scholar,’ and often as He tabernacled here on earth, the multitudes–the Pharisees, the Scribes, and Roman rulers were left astonished by the authority of his teaching. Here, Jesus is making a very clear distinction between His Father’s doctrine and that of the Pharisees (first to his own relatives, and then the Jews):

“Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. And the Jews marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?”

Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?” (John 7:14-18).

As Jesus’ disciples stood before the elders, scribes, and rulers of the Sanhedrin, Annas, the high priest and Caiaphas, asked of them, by what power had they taught the people and preached in. Filled with the holy spirit, the disciples proceeded to proclaim, that they had healed a helpless man, by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, “This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:11-13)


Now is the hour, when the Father is looking for those who will worship Him in Spirit and in Truth — for Israelites [ Christians], in whom there is no deceit.

“Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”

Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”

Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” (John 1:47-51)


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Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. This was to fulfil the word of Isaiah the prophet:

“Lord, who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:

“He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts,
so they can neither see with their eyes,
nor understand with their hearts,
nor turn—and I would heal them.”

Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God. (John 12:38-43)

2 Corinthians 4:1-6

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.