What Makes a Pharisee?
The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?" (Mark 7:5)
One of the most common arguments leveled against Jesus was that He ignored the traditions and customs of previous generations. This was true. He did not seek to give offense, but neither did He spend His time trying to fit in and make everyone comfortable by being the kind of Rabbi they wanted Him to be. Jesus was following God’s commands, and sometimes that matched the traditions of the culture; sometimes it upset the apple cart.
To be ‘pharisaical’ is a term used to refer to those who are “too strictly” following the Scriptures, but that use of the term ignores the historical truth. The Pharisees were strict with their own ideas and loose with the Scriptures. Jesus wished they had read their Bibles more and just done what the Bible plainly said.
"Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men." He was also saying to them, "You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” (Mark 7:8-9)
False religion is rampant in the world because we have lots of religious experts, but not many Bible experts. Just stick to the text, and you can’t go wrong.