The word Pharisee means ‘the· separated ones’. In the Gospels they are presented as a fanatical group of religious men who stressed the importance of obeying Gods’ law in minute details. They developed a huge system of rules that specified exactly what you could and couldn’t do. Jesus disagreed with the Pharisees about their interpretation of the Sabbath. He helped people on the Sabbath. The Pharisees were furious but Jesus said that human need should come before rules (Matt 12:6- 14).
Jesus also offended the· Pharisees by ignoring their religious traditions and going back to the old testament teaching. His attitude angered them. (Matt 23 and Mark 3-6). Jesus attacked and humiliated them. so much that they began to plot together to put him to death (Matt 26:2-5 and John 11:45-47).
Jesus told a parable which criticised the Pharisees (Luke 18:9-14). Some of the Pharisees however were sympathetic to Jesus, see Nicodemus (John 3:1-21) and Joseph of Arimathea (Luke 23:50-54, John 19:38-42).