Justin Taylor had the following quote from Tim Keller’s book The Prodigal God. He notes that how in the parable of the Prodigal Son, the eldest brother who stayed behind with the Father who was angry at his father for the way he treated his wayward son. Many would think that in the story the father would call him a “whitewashed tomb,” (Matthew 23:27) or something akin to that. But that wasn’t the case,
But he (the eldest son) was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, (Luke 15:28).
[Jesus] is addressing the religious leaders who are going to hand him over to the Roman authorities to be executed. Yet in the story the elder brother gets not a harsh condemnation but a loving plea to turn from his anger and self-righteousness. Jesus is pleading in love with his deadliest enemies.
He is not a Pharisee about Pharisees; he is not self-righteous about self-righteousness. Nor should we be. He not only loves the wild-living, free-spirited people, but also hardened religious people, (pg. 75).
Let’s be careful not to become a Pharisee about people “being Pharisees.” When we do we come off looking just as self-righteous as the people we are pointing our finger at.