As God lives, in whose presence my soul stands, God sends his prophets and servants into the world in order that sinners may repent; and He sends [them] not for the sake of the righteous, because they had no need of repentance, even as he that is clean has no need of the bath. But truly I say to you, if you were true Pharisees you would be glad that I should have gone in to sinners for their salvation. Tell me, do you know your origin and how the world began to receive Pharisees? I will tell you, seeing that you do not know it, so hearken to my words.
Enoch, a friend of God, who walked with God in truth, making no account of the world, was translated into paradise; and there he abides until the Judgment (for when the end of the world draws near he shall return to help the world with Elijah and one other). And so men, having knowledge of this, through desire of paradise, began to seek God their creator. For ‘Pharisee’ strictly means ‘seeks God’ in the language of Canaan, for there did this name begin [as a] way of deriding good men, since the Canaanites were given up to idolatry, which is the worship of human hands.
Whereupon the Canaanites, beholding those of our people that were separated from the world to serve God, when they saw such an one, said in derision ‘Pharisee!’ that is, ‘He seeks God’; as much as to say: ‘O madman, you have no statues of idols and adore the wind; look to your fate and come and serve our gods.’ Truly I say to you,” said Jesus, “all the saints and prophets of God have been Pharisees not in name, as you are, but in very deed. For in all their acts they sought God their creator, and for love of God they forsook cities and their own goods, selling [their goods] and giving to the poor for love of God.”
Sir Godfrey Gregg OHPM, ROMC