"Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy," Jesus told the crowd. Leaven is a substance such as yeast that causes fermentation of dough or batter. When fermentation occurs, it causes the dough to expand (or rise). A tiny pinch of yeast will quickly spread through an entire bowl of dough. The word translated as hypocrisy is hypokrisis.
It's the same for us. At least it is for me. Giving money is much easier than loving my enemies and praying for those who despitefully use me, isn't it? Teaching what God says is much easier than having an humble, teachable spirit that gives God all the credit and leaves none for myself. It's easier to put on my "Sunday clothes" and go to church with the same attitude I have for going to the grocery store than to arrive with a heart eager to hear from God, willing to renounce my sin and embrace the purity only God can give.
I want to be done with hypocrisy.
I don't like it in others and I don't want it in me.
But I'm a Pharisee.
I do what I don't want to do. I think what I don't want to think. I don't do what I know I should. Like Paul, I think woe is me. Who will separate me from this?
Paul said that, what the law could not do, God did in sending Jesus. Through Him, we are made clean and kept clean. It's a choice we must make every day. Will we allow Jesus to cleanse us? Will we follow Him? Will we walk the path of the Pharisees or will we walk the road of Calvary, where His will becomes ours and we become one with Him?
If we want to be real disciples, and not just Pharisees, we will follow the road Christ set before us, in the way He walked it, humbly, putting the will of God before our own. It's not always easy, but it's worth it.