Narcissist* Traits – Creating “Righteous-Sounding” Excuses To Get What They Want

.

Mark 7:9-13

He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, is to be put to death’; 11 but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),’ 12 you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; 13 thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.”

.

Jesus was speaking here to the “Pharisees and some of the scribes”  [See herehere, and here for discussions on how we know the Pharisees were narcissists*].

.

The Mosaic instruction for honoring parents was very serious, as illustrated by the severe consequence for speaking evil of them.  So, the Pharisees were caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place – in their greed and selfishness they wanted to keep and use for themselves the money that they should rightfully use to support their parents.  But they also did not want to be seen (by God, or by man) as violating the clear Mosaic law.

.

The devious solution they came up with created a mechanism that projected an image of “righteousness” while at the same time giving them what they wanted.   They would give their money “to God”, but it would still be under their control as to how it would be spent – they would the recipient of their own “generosity” instead of their parents.

.

This was not just about the Pharisees giving to a “greater and more worthy cause” than their parents – although they certainly wanted it to look that way.  This was a deceitful move  – ignoring the requirement to take care of their parents by acting pious while simultaneously being the recipient.  They were keeping the money for themselves, shirking their responsibilities, and using the false “piety” to further glorify themselves while covering for their evil behavior.

.

This is a classic narcissist move – they create an excuse that cannot be criticized or questioned as a smokescreen and cover for their self-centered and selfish action to get what they want.  And, if they can use the smokescreen itself as the very means of getting what they want – all the better.

.

.

 

 

Narcissist Traits – They Avoid Accountability (Pharisee Case Study)

.

Matthew 27:20-25
.

20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death. 21 But the governor said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.”22 Pilate *said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all *said, “Crucify Him!” 23 And he said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “Crucify Him!”

24 When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.” 25 And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!”

.

Acts 5:27-28

27 When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”

.

We know from here that Pharisees were examples of narcissists / those with insolent pride.  The very people who stirred up the crowds to ask Pilate to release Barrabas and crucify Jesus were the same ones who later were trying to avoid being pegged with responsibility for Jesus’ death.  This is a classic narcissist move – seeking to be above accountability for their actions.  Even when confronted by evidence to the contrary.
 .
 .
 .
Note:  The point of this entry is not to say “the Jews killed Jesus”, but to illustrate the narcissistic tendency to avoid accountability for the very actions for which the narcissist is responsible.  The Pharisees were not all narcissists, and the actions of Matthew 27 and Acts 5 were ultimately done by individuals.   See here for an additional discussion on calling the Pharisees “narcissists”.
.
Also, there is additional reading on the various Jewish theological schools of thought and practice @ http://www.centralcal.com/crist2.htm
.
.
*Narcissist is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride” – see here for more

Narcissist Traits – They Have A Tendency Toward “Legalism” (Pharisee Case Study)

.

Matthew 23:23-28

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

.

See here and here on how we know that the scribes and Pharisees are a case study in narcissism

.

Legalism is a focus on technical, outward conformance to a standard without regard for the spirit of the standard.  Legalistic people may adjust to comply with the external standard, while neglecting, ignoring, or outright rejecting any changes needed to their core heart attitutde.  The Pharisees were “legalistic” – they were focused on outward compliance with the rules (God’s law plus the ones they made up) rather than on being righteous on the inside.  But God had made it clear from the early days of their people that the focus should be on their hearts:

.

Deuteronomy 6:4-6

“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart…….

.

The scribes and Pharisees knew that commandment, as shown by the lawyer’s response to Jesus’ question….. Continue reading

Narcissist Traits – They Judgmentally Compare Themselves To Others (Pharisee Case Study)

.

Mark 7:5

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?”

.

Luke 5:30

30 The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?”

.

As we said here, scoffers (those with insolent pride, aka narcissists) set themselves up as judge.   Unless they can somehow get in an official position where they can judge others, they will unofficially compare themselves with others in a judgmental way.    They may not do this consciously, but their instinct for moral superiority makes it natural for them to frequently compare themselves with others, with an eye toward what the others are doing wrong and how they themselves are “better”.   In the verses, above, the Pharisees were comparing what Jesus and His disciples did with what they did.  In both cases, what Jesus did was not wrong – but the Pharisees set their own actions up as the standard to live by, and then judged Jesus and His disciples for not matching up to their standard.  Of course, they did not come right out and say, “you’re wrong”, but expressed their judgmental spirit through questions. Continue reading

Narcissist* Traits – They “Put On A Show” Of Their Deeds

.

Matthew 23:5

But they (scribes and Pharisees) do all their deeds to be noticed by men…..

As we mentioned here, here, and here, the scribes and Pharisees are a case study in narcissism / insolent pride.

.

In the Narcissists’* drive to be exalted by others, their focus is completely on what other people think of them, rather than on the genuine substance of things.  In fact, they will go out of their way to even suffer some pain – such as with fasting – if the end result is the praise and recognition of man.  To a narcissist, wickedness in their heart does not matter as long as things look good to others.  They particularly will focus on “putting on a show” of their “goodness” so that others will see it and think well of them.

Some examples are:

Continue reading

Narcissist Case Studies – How We Know “The Pharisees” Were Narcissists, Part 2

.                                                                                      see here for Part 1

Isaiah 28:14-16

14 Therefore, hear the word of the Lord, O scoffers,
Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem,
15 Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
And with Sheol we have made a pact.
The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by,
For we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception.”

16 Therefore thus says the Lord God,

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone,
A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.
He who believes in it will not be disturbed.

.

The “cornerstone” reference is clearly is clearly referring to Jesus:

.

Matthew 21:42 – Jesus *said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected,This became the chief corner stone; This came about from the Lord, And it is marvelous in our eyes’?

Mark 12:10 – Have you not even read this Scripture: ‘The stone which the builders rejected, This became the chief corner stone;

Luke 20:17 – But Jesus looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘The stone which the builders rejected, This became the chief corner stone’?

Acts 4:11 – He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone.

Ephesians 2:20 – having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,

1 Peter 2:6 – For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

.

Therefore, God says in Isaiah 28 that He was sending Jesus in response to the rulers in Jerusalem, whom He called scoffers.  The rulers in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’ arrival were the religious leaders (Scribes, Pharisees, Chief Priest, etc.) – so God was clearly calling them “scoffers”.   And according to Proverbs 21:24, scoffers is one of the names for those filled with insolent pride.

"Proud", "Haughty", "Scoffer" are his names, who acts with insolent pride. Proverbs 21:24

“Proud”, “Haughty”, “Scoffer” are his names, who acts with insolent pride. Proverbs 21:24

Narcissistic* Traits Case Study – Acting As Judge (Pharisees)

.

The Pharisees are one of the prime examples of Insolent Pride / Narcissism in the Bible (see here and here).  They were described as “scoffers” in Isaiah 28.   And “Scoffers” are one of the “names” given to those with insolent pride – [“‘Proud’, ‘haughty’, ‘scoffer’ are his names who acts with insolent pride” – Proverbs 21:24].  And insolent pride = narcissism (see here).

A prime characteristic of a scoffer is that they set themselves up as judge over others, based on an arbitrary standard of their own creation.   They will not try to keep their own standard, as they see themselves as above the rules.  And they will change the standard as necessary to suit their primary objective of being “above” others (that’s one of the reasons its an “arbitrary” standard).  The imperative of scoffers / insolent pride / narcissists is to maintain their superiority over others.

Here are some examples of the Pharisees acting as judge:

 

  • Matthew 9:11 – When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?”

The Pharisees set an implied arbitrary rule as to who “righteous” people should eat with, and then judged Jesus against that rule]

.

  • Matthew 9:14 – Then the disciples of John *came to Him, asking, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?”

The Pharisees took something they were doing (fasting), and turned it into a standard they could use with which to judge others]

.

  • Matthew 9:34 – But the Pharisees were saying, “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.”

Rather than carefully exploring how Jesus was able to cast out demons, the Pharisees jumped to the conclusion that since Jesus’ power could not be from God (based on the Pharisees’ own pre-determined view), it had to come from Satan.  Since linking Jesus’ miracles as being sourced from Satan would clearly undermine His ministry, the Pharisees were quick to take the opportunity to do this.]

.

  • Matthew 12:2 – But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath.”

The Pharisees were interpreting the law according to their own opinion, and using their interpretation as the basis for judging Jesus]

.

  • Matthew 12:24 – But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.”

Once again, rather than honestly exploring the true source Jesus’ ability to cast out demons, the Pharisees were quick to judge and condemn Him, based on an interpretation that would most fully demean and undermine Jesus.]

.

.

* Narcissism is the colloquial secular term for what the Bible refers to as “insolent pride”.

Narcissistic* Traits – Discarding The Tools of Their Treachery

..

Narcissists (or those with insolent pride, see here), frequently “use” others as tools to achieve their goals, and then once the narcissists have gotten what they want, they easily discard the people they used without any further consideration.  An example is how the narcissistic Pharisees (see here and here) treated Judas after Judas had betrayed Jesus.

..

Matthew 27

Now when morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus to put Him to death; and they bound Him, and led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate the governor.

Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!”And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.” And they conferred together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one whose price had been set by the sons of Israel; 10 and they gave them for the Potter’s Field, as the Lord directed me.”

In this case, after the Pharisees (chief priests and elders) were more than happy to use Judas as a tool to get what they wanted (the destruction of Jesus), they did not care the slightest about what happened to Judas.  He was just someone to be used as means to their end.  This is consistent with insolent pride – looking down on others as of much less importance, and therefore merely to be used and then easily discarded with no further consideration of their needs.

This principle has a second application in this case.  Judas was not only a tool of the Pharisees, but was also a tool of Satan in Satan’s quest to destroy Jesus.  Satan (a “narcissist” filled with insolent pride, see here) also uses people for his evil purposes, and then drives them to their destruction.

 

* Narcissist is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride”.  Please see here for an explanation.

Narcissistic* Traits – Looking On Others With Contempt

.
Luke 18:9 – [ The Pharisee and the Publican ] And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:
.
We know from here, here, and here that the Pharisees were narcissists* with insolent pride.  In the above verse we see that one characteristic of their narcissism was to view others with contempt.
.
From Dictionary.com
.

con·tempt

Noun – 
The feeling with which a person regards anything considered mean, vile or worthless; disdain; scorn
Synonyms – 
Contempt, disdain, scorn — implies that [narcissists* have] strong feelings of disapproval and aversion toward what seems base, mean, or worthless.  Contempt is disapproval tinged with disgust;  ie – to feel contempt for a weakling.  Disdain is a feeling that a person or thing is beneath one’s [a narcissist’s*] dignity and unworthy of one’s notice, respect or concern
.

* Narcissist is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride”  please see here for an explanation

Narcissist Case Studies – The Pharisees – How Jesus Responded To Their Backbiting

.

Matthew 9:9-13

As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He *said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him.

10 Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?”12 But when Jesus heard this, He said, It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassionand not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

.

[Note:  Please see herehere, and here on how we know that the Pharisees were narcissists]

.

Observations:

  1. The Pharisees wouldn’t be caught dead eating with the tax collectors and sinners – they were too much above that.  (see here and here and here)
  2. But, Jesus showed them up by eating with the tax collectors and sinners, and not doing things “the Pharisees’ way”
  3. So,while the Pharisees could not criticize Jesus for who He was (ie NOT a tax collector and sinner), they criticized Him for associating with people that they had deemed “unacceptable”.  He was not following THEIR self-made rules of who you could and could not associate with
  4. But rather than taking their issue to Jesus, they sniped at him to His disciples.  Cowardly?  Trying to undermine Him by driving a wedge between Jesus and His disciples – planting seeds of doubt in their minds?
  5. In this instance, Jesus proactively responded to their criticism.  As the Pharisees’ comments were not directed directly to Him He could have let it go.   It says “when Jesus heard this” – it may have been that the disciples reported the Pharisees’ comments to Him.

.

Why and How did He respond?

  1. He may have wanted to deal (counteract?) with the doubt about Him which the Pharisees seeded in the minds of His disciples
  2. He used the Pharisees’ criticism of His ministry as an opportunity to teach the disciples what His ministry was all about.  God used the narcissists to present Jesus with a teaching moment.  And Jesus knew what to do with that opportunity.
  3. Jesus did not rebuke the Pharisees (do not rebuke a scoffer or he will hate you).  Instead He gave them them the same lesson He taught His disciples – “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.”
  4. But then He also admonished them with an instruction / challenge – “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassionand not sacrifice,’”
  5. And finally, He explained Himself with a truth (“for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”) that they could easily use to justify themselves – if they were further hardening their hearts by continuing to think that they were  – or use to seek Him.   IE – a Pharisee who heard Jesus’ last phrase could easily say, “Oh right, He’s here for the bad guys, not me”, or he could humble himself and say, “I’m a sinner, and He’s here to help guys like me”, and begin to seek Him.  Its a parable that gave enough truth to seek Him with, for those who were willing.

Narcissist Tactics – Entrapment to Destroy

.

Luke 20:19-26

19 The scribes and the chief priests tried to lay hands on Him that very hour, and they feared the people; for they understood that He spoke this parable against them. 20 So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, in order that they might catch Him in some statement, so that they could deliver Him to the rule and the authority of the governor. 21 They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. 22 Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 23 But He detected their trickery and said to them, 24 “Show Me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” 25 And He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26 And they were unable to catch Him in a saying in the presence of the people; and being amazed at His answer, they became silent.

.

We have been using the term “Pharisees” in our depiction of that group of scoffers (narcissists) who were opposed to Jesus, but that was a broader category that also included specific job titles such as “scribes” and “chief priests”.  We can see here and here that the Pharisees were clear examples of narcissists.  There are several lessons on how narcissists operate from the above narrative:

.

  1. The scoffers (narcissists) were actively trying to get rid of the threat to their supremacy
  2. The scoffers (narcissists) were trying to entrap Jesus by presenting a no-win situation, on a subject that could get Him in deep trouble with the authorities if He answered wrong
  3. They sent others to do their dirty work (this time)

.

Notice the flattery these Pharisees / scoffers / narcissists used as part of their work to ruin Jesus.   In verse 21, “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth.”  This is what is discussed here:

.

Proverbs 26:28 – 28 A lying tongue hates those it crushes, And a flattering mouth works ruin.

 

 

Narcissistic Traits – “I would never have done it that way”

.

Matthew 23:29-30 – 29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’

.

The Pharisees were saying, “I would never have done it the way they did it.”  This is a classic statement from a narcissist / scoffer (see here and here how the Pharisees were narcissists / scoffers with insolent pride).   In this situation these narcissists were doing two things at the same time

.

  1. They were setting themselves up as judge of other’s actions (see here for scoffers – Narcissists as Judge)
  2. They were setting themselves up as superior to the other person.  But as typical of the Narcissist, the superiority was only in their own minds – not in reality – and didn’t actually have to be demonstrated.  Its very easy to say after the fact “I would never have done that”, when you don’t have to actually prove it through your actions.

.

And they were so arrogant that they were willing to trash their own ancestors in order to exalt themselves.

.

But Jesus turned the tables and called them on it:

.

Matthew 23:31-32 – 31 So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers.

 

Narcissist Case Studies – Pharisees – How We Know They Were Narcissists, Part I

.

How do we know that Pharisees and especially their leaders the Chief Priests were full of insolent pride (Narcissists)?    There are three ways:

.

  1. Verses that directly refer to their insolent pride
  2. Compare the traits and tactics of the Pharisees with what the Bible says about Narcissist traits and tactics
  3. Compare the traits and tactics of the Pharisees with what the secular literature says about Narcissist traits and tactics

.

Number 1 above is by far the best – direct statements and linkages from the Bible.  Number 2 above lends itself to circular reasoning – so it can be used, but best in conjunction with number 1.   Number 3 would be similar to seeing someone in the news – lets say Kim Kardashian and Chris Jenner, and say “they’re obviously a narcissist” – but in this case the narcissist’s behavior is being reported “in print” by the Bible instead of today’s news.  

.

There is no verse that outright says “the Pharisees were filled with insolent pride”.  However, this comes close:

.

Luke 18:9-14

The Pharisee and the Publican

9 And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing some distance away,was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

.

The key phrases that infer that this Pharisee had insolent pride:

“Who trusted in themselves”

The essence of pride

“Viewed others with contempt”

The essence of insolence

“Praying this to himself”

He saw himself as the center of his universe, not God

“for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

.

Jesus linked all of the above with the Pharisee exalting himself in pride.

.

Especially through his ending statement in this story, Jesus was confirming that this Pharisee was exalting himself, the essence of pride.

.

Jesus began with the phrase “some people” – not all Pharisees were this way.  But on the other hand by using a Pharisee as the example, he was making a point about the pride of the Pharisees as a group.

"Proud", "Haughty", "Scoffer" are his names, who acts with insolent pride. Proverbs 21:24

“Proud”, “Haughty”, “Scoffer” are his names, who acts with insolent pride. Proverbs 21:24

 

Since we can say as a group that the Pharisees were filled with insolent pride, we can now take key elements of the Pharisees’ behavior and look for clues on Narcissists traits and tactics.

 

Narcissism Case Studies – the Pharisees, Overview

.
One of the prime examples of narcissists in the Bible are the Pharisees.   Over many, many entries we will not only look at their narcissistic traits, but also how Jesus dealt with them.  We’re looking for clues for how to successfully identify and deal with narcissists (insolent pride), but will also gain some heavenly insights in the process.
.
But, it would be good to read a key passage in its entirety, before we start parsing it.  I have highlighted some key phrases which tip us off that we’re looking at narcissists when we look at the Pharisees.   Of course, we should understand that a Pharisee was a type of official position, not a person per se.   So, not every Pharisee was a narcissist – and there are examples of Pharisees who came to Jesus as genuine seekers.  But many, if not most, were.
 .

Matthew 23

23 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; 3 therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. 4 They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.

[This is an example of a scoffer – Psalm 1 “sitting in the seat of scoffers”.  Narcissists’ (insolent pride) goal is to lord it over others, to make others jump through hoops in order to prove that the narcissist is King, numero uno.  The best way is to be the one to set the rules and then judge others as to whether they follow the rules or not.  Secular literature describes the narcissist trait of believing rules are for the “little people”, and not for them.  This is a classic example of that.

.

But it goes further than that.  Narcissists (insolent pride) don’t really care about what rules they’re setting up for others – the more important issue is that they are the King who makes the rules and others are to follow.    But this is why dealing with narcissists is so dangerous – their actions are totally arbitrary.   Even if you do jump through some hoop (rule) that they set up and get to you to jump through, as soon as you have done that they can easily set up a different, even opposite rule and have you jump through that.  Because their main point is getting you to jump through their hoop, whatever they decide it to be at that moment.]

.

 5 But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. 6 They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.

[Narcissists’ (insolent pride) whole goal is to be number 1, honored and glorified by others.  So, to get there they MUST look good in the eyes of others, and have that rewarded by receiving the honor due them.]

.

8 But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 11 But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

[Jesus tells us God’s way – humility vs. pride, serving vs. being honored.  More on this important key to successful living in other posts]

.

Eight Woes

13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

[Narcissists put on a show.  The Pharisees’ long prayers was all about the show, it had nothing to do with actually communicating with God]

.

15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

.

16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the [i]temple is obligated.’ 17 You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold? 18 And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar,that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.’ 19 You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering? 20 Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it. 21 And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it. 22 And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it.

.

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

[One of the secular comments on narcissists is that they lack a sense of proportion – for example, they will work through the night on something that isn’t very useful.   Jesus was confirming this about the Pharisees, but the above statement also implies that their focus on the little details was a means of avoiding obligations and escaping responsibility for the larger, more important moral requirements.]

.

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.   27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

[Narcissists (insolent pride) make it look good.  But what’s going on their hearts is a whole other matter.  Ultimately, of course, what’s in their heart will come out.  “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart”.  (Matt 12:34)]

.

29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’

[This is a classic narcissist (insolent pride) approach…… with comments like “well, I never would have done that”]

.

31 So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?