The Pharisees Were Lovers of Money

The Real Pharisees

Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him” (Luke 16:14).

Luke identified the Pharisees as ones who were “lovers of money” as he described them “scoffing” at the things Jesus was teaching. These were not two unrelated facts about the Pharisees. Being lovers of money and scoffing at Jesus’ message were intrinsically connected to one another.

Why was it that these lovers of money scoffed at Jesus’ message? Notice what Jesus said immediately before this: “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth” (Luke 16:13). Jesus directly addressed this problem and stated that these ones who had “seated themselves in the chair of Moses” (Matthew 23:2) and had the reputation of being the “strictest sect” of the Jews (Acts 26:5) were not faithfully serving God. Understandably, they took offense at this – even though what Jesus said was exactly true. So as a response, they scoffed at Him and His message.

Jesus taught that we cannot be lovers of money if we wish to please God. There are three reasons why this is the case:

  1. The love of money is the root of all evil – “But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:9-10). Many people misrepresent this passage and claim that it says that money is the root of all evil. Yet money in itself is not evil. Instead, it is a blessing from God (cf. Ecclesiastes 5:18-19). However, it is wrong to love money and make it our highest priority instead of recognizing it as a blessing from God and a tool to be used in our service to Him.
  2. Covetousness is idolatry – “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed [covetousness, KJV], which amounts to idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). When we covet after money or any other material thing, we are making it into an idol. Idolatry is something we need to guard against even today (1 John 5:21).
  3. We are to put our trust in God, not in wealth – “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17). All of the money in the world will not save us (Matthew 16:26; 1 Peter 1:18). We need to be sure our faith and trust is in the Lord – the giver of all good things (James 1:17) and the source of our salvation (Hebrews 5:9).

We must not allow our desire for material things, such as money, to cause us to scoff at the words of Jesus. His words are the “words of eternal life” (John 6:68). The value of money is limited and temporal. Our obedience to His word will bring an everlasting reward.

So who are the real Pharisees today? They are the ones who reject the words of Christ because they overvalue the temporal wealth of this world.


The above post is an excerpt from the book, The Real Pharisees by Andy Sochor. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

Daily Notes & Observations: “They Prophesy for Money” (Excerpt)

July 14

They Prophesy for Money

Daily Notes & ObservationsAfter condemning the rulers for oppressive taxation of the people (Micah 3:1-3), the Lord addressed the prophets who had the same “love of money” (cf. 1 Timothy 6:10) as the rulers. Money, rather than simply proclaiming the word of God, was the primary motivation for these prophets.

Her leaders pronounce judgment for a bribe, her priests instruct for a price and her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the Lord saying, ‘Is not the Lord in our midst? Calamity will not come upon us’” (Micah 3:11).

Since their motivation was money and not truth (their claim that the Lord was with them and would protect them was false), these prophets adjusted their message depending on whether or not their audience would support them.

Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who lead my people astray; when they have something to bite with their teeth, they cry, ‘Peace,’ but against him who puts nothing in their mouths they declare holy war” (Micah 3:5).

For those who were willing and able to pay them, these prophets delivered a message that would be pleasing to them. But for those who did not support them, they responded with condemnation.

In every generation throughout the history of man, there have been people who were motivated primarily by money and were willing to compromise principles in order to gain wealth. The prophets were guilty of this in Micah’s day. Preachers can easily be guilty of this today — preaching a message that will be well-received by those who currently or could potentially support them. If a particular topic is controversial or not popular among their supporters, they simply ignore that topic — a blatant violation of their responsibility to preach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).

Preachers must be more concerned with truth than with their support (or lack thereof) for preaching the truth. Paul told Timothy to “preach the word… in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). Even when brethren would not like it and would “accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires” (2 Timothy 4:3), Timothy was not to compromise. “But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5).

Let us all, whether preachers or not, value the truth over every earthly thing.


Daily Notes & Observations contains 365 articles like the one above – one article per day that will take you through the Bible in a year. Be prepared to start your study on January 1st – order your copy today!

The Root of the Problem: Chapter 10 – Materialism (Excerpt)

The Root of the Problem (cover)We live in a materialistic society. So apparent is this reality that I believe examples need not be given. As Christians we must be careful that we do not follow after the world in this regard. Paul gives us a sobering warning about having a materialistic attitude:

“If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:8-10).

It is important to notice that Paul does not say that money is the root of all sorts of evil. Rather he says the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil. Hence, this warning is not exclusively for the rich. Those who are poor are often guilty of this as well. The text says, “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare.” No matter who we are, rich or poor, we must guard against this mindset.

You can read more about how we can combat materialism in The Root of the Problem: Why We Sin & How We Can Overcome. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!