Scripture for Today: Matthew 23:25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.”
I am sure I am not the only one! There have to be more out there who have mistakenly emptied the dishwasher’s contents back into the cupboards and belatedly realized they were not clean! It is my own fault because I rinse too well before loading them into the dishwasher. How frustrating and time consuming to then have to determine which items are clean and which need to be reloaded! The confusion can be avoided with a simple system of magnets on the dishwasher.
In today’s verse, Jesus is calling out the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. They were careful to follow ceremonial law without the harder work of confession and true change of heart. Their public image was more important than what what was going on privately. They could look clean on the outside by following accepted standards of religious tradition, all the while concealing the greed and self-indulgence inside. But no matter what rules we follow, it is only Christ who can make us truly clean.
It is what comes out of me that reveals the true state of my heart (Mark 7:15). I am distracted by working hard on the outward show of religiosity but sooner or later, my words and actions reveal what is really on the inside. Despite the correct moral upbringing, environmental and financial advantages, and advances in technology, evil continues to exist in my heart. 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.