I feel very silly sometimes to find myself unloading dirty dishes into the cupboards! My problem is that I rinse too well before loading them into the dishwasher. The confusion can be avoided with a simple system of magnets on the dishwasher. These pictured were handmade using mint tins and adhesive labels.
We use labels as well when determining whether people are clean or dirty. Imagine wearing labels like these to declare to others the state of our hearts! In our verse for today Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees about what is clean and what is dirty. The disciples were not following the accepted standards of religious tradition. Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites for placing outside cleanliness over and above cleanliness on the inside.
It is what comes out of a person that reveals the true state of the heart. We can work hard on the outward show of religiosity but sooner or later, our words and actions reveal what is on the inside. No matter what rules we follow, it is only Christ that can truly make us clean. Despite the correct moral upbringing, environmental and financial advantages, and advances in technology, evil continues to exist in the heart.
It is much less threatening to address social ills by fixing everything on the outside rather than the internal change that is needed. The Lord is in the business of true and lasting change. Cleansing me from the inside out is something only He can do.
Lord, keep me from being so distracted by the outside! Change my heart with Your cleansing.