Thursday, March 14, 2013


But the Lord said to him: “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and evil.  Luke 11:49

I’m lazy when it comes to washing dishes.  No, I’m not the guy who lets the dishes pile up until the flies take over the kitchen, but I do take short cuts. When I’m done with a dish I usually just throw it in the dishwasher without first rinsing off the food residue. If a plate or bowl doesn’t look completely clean I immediately notice it and take steps to clean it. But it’s not that easy when it comes to my coffee mugs. I often see that the outside is clean and put it up without even thinking of looking on the inside. But when I’m ready to use it again, I often realize that there are still coffee stains on the bottom of my cup.

In the Gospels we see that the Pharisees were the same way. They worked tirelessly cleaning the outside of the cup, but didn’t pay attention to what was on the inside. While this may have worked temporarily, it eventually came to light. The outside was flawless, the inside was dirty.

Interestingly enough, the perfect Christ was dirty to them because of what they saw on the outside. According the Pharisees, Christ was defiled because He didn’t obey their man-made rules. He hung out with sinners, He healed on the Sabbath, and He didn’t wash His hands before eating with them!

Jesus quickly pointed out that it was the Pharisees that were truly defiled. They ignored the needy, the hungry, and the sick. Their rules were far more important to them than God’s call for justice and mercy. On the inside they were full of greed and evil.

The attitude of the Pharisees is still seen in the church today. We make up extra-biblical rules and expect people to follow them. We are often more bothered by the way people dress than their relationship with Christ.  We are quick to condemn someone who smokes cigarettes or has tattoos, but often overlook the real problems of gossip and pride.

Yes, we all have issues; we all have things we need to work on. But I ask that we be careful not to place expectations on others that are not found in scripture. We must be loving and forgiving to one another.  Together, we must seek justice and mercy. And together, we become more like Christ and become everything He has called us to be.

Scripture to Claim:
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;   Luke 6:37 ESV

Submitted By Caleb Lain

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