I think that the contrast painted here by the Lord is a very stark one. The religious leaders were all about the externals - about following spiritual rules and man made traditions. Jesus would have none of this and consistently confronted them on all fronts. He understood that following rules and principles would never lead a person to external life. Sadly I too well understand this because I was once a person who loved to follow those rules.
My desire to follow rules was very much a reflection of my internal brokenness. The desire to look good and perform for God is antithetical to kingdom values that compassionately embrace the wounded and the lost. It projects the idea that God wants a people who have their act together. Such a message is false and destructive. God loves us where we are and longs to be merciful to us and lead us in way that produce internal and eternal life.
Help me Lord to follow you in my heart and not lean on my own understanding.