For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
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Chromatius of Aquileia
He finds fault with the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, for they were not concerned with faith in the divine promise but with human praise and worldly glory. We have an example of this in the puffedup and proud Pharisee who seemed to prefer the merits of his own righteousness and shamelessly made himself conspicuous in God’s sight with his smugness and complacent words. The scribes and Pharisees therefore stressed the appearance of righteousness, not that they might please God but that they might seek the fame of human glory and acquire earthly gain and material comforts. Hence the Lord urges us to give priority to the works of heavenly righteousness and the merits of faith over that detestable righteousness of human praise. .