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He said to do as they SAY because he respected their authority on the law, because they were seated in Moses' chair. That was the reason Jesus gave. He said not to do as they DO because they were hypocrites with moral shortcomings that should not be emulated. In other words, do as a corrupt lawmaker says because the law of the land he dictates is legit, but don't do the things he does because he is corrupt and immoral.
reply to post by sk0rpi0n
But he wasn't entirely happy with everything the Pharisees taught either, since he had to criticise them for their applications of the teaching.
"Listen to the Pharisees" is not the real burden of that verse. The real burden is in what immediately follows; "but don't do what they do." The first half of the verse is only there as a lead-in to the second half.