Bringing the Text to Life

Peer Pressure from the Pharisees Matthew 5:13-20

Peer Pressure from the Pharisees

People around us can inspire us to do the right thing. Or they can cause us to quit. Surprisingly, it is top performers who often do the most damage.

At a Glance

Nothing intrinsically wrong with peer pressure. Except. Except when the pressure is coming from someone who is insanely out in front of us in the smarts department, athletic prowess, good looks or whatever. That kind of dominance will shut us down from the get-go. But, if we're challenged to be better by people who are truly our "peers," then the pressure can be a good thing. So, take a look at this text. The Pharisees are peer-less. Nobody is going to beat them in the righteousness department.

Editors' Pick

For material based on today's epistle text, see "Wise Guys," February 7, 1999, at

When it comes to righteousness, the Pharisees are tough to beat.

Jesus knows that these Jewish leaders are passionate about the law of God. Supportive of synagogues and schools. Attentive to purity rules and regulations. Focused on the resurrection, with a powerful hunger for heavenly rewards.

The Pharisees are the spiritual superstars of their...

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