You become what you worship.
This is the warning Jesus so profoundly offers when He pronounces, “No servant can serve two masters; either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
God’s Word consistently and constantly warns us against having a divided heart – and the reason is because once the heart is divided, it really goes all the way to the other side. Thinking it is merely divided in a proportionate way is self-deception. It is not possible.
The acquisition of wealth from God is what the Pharisees are about. Jesus strongly lets them know God knows this, and that God knows their hearts are polluted. It does not matter at all that the people see them as representing God. Jesus tells them God knows they do not.
Think of how serious it must be in God’s eyes to know He knows everything you do in His name is pretense.
Wealth is not the issue. It is the pursuit of wealth in God’s name which is leading them to condemnation. It is not too late, but it is too terrible unless they immediately and forcefully turn away. The god they serve is money, they have become wealthy, and the entire focus of their ministry life is not service to the True and Living God, but service to themselves and the monetary accounts they steward, “in God’s name.”
The Pharisees worship wealth and its preservation, and so they are constantly in peril unless they can collect money in the name of God. (This is what happens when money becomes the focus of your life.) They have no means of acquiring personal wealth on their own. (They cannot dig, they are ashamed to beg.) For them it is about using their religious position to build up an earthly religious kingdom, and then to live off those proceeds.
They represent the True God as a hard master to the people because of their own need for fortune. And strangely, this ultimately this leads to a softening of God’s Word to preserve the resource (the people,) the wealth appears to come from.