You are those who justify yourselves ...
The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. “The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void. “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.
The phrase that caught the Pharisees' attention was "You cannot serve God and money." Their reaction was understandable since many of them were fairly wealthy. They had a choice - ridicule or repent ... and they chose the former. It is a sad fact of history that religious institutions hoard wealth in the form of buildings and property. One Christian denomination owns more land globally than any other organization on the planet. So sad but so true.
The phrase "but God knows your hearts" set the context for his words about "The Law and the Prophets". These who ridiculed the teaching of Christ exalted the outward performance of the law but inwardly they scorned it. I suspect that some of these very people divorced their wives because the Law allowed. This is the way of man-made religion but not of the Kingdom of God. What is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. So sad but so true
I am so sorry for the times I justified myself chosing religion over you Lord. Please forgive me and renew my heart.