As I have stated in a previous blog I have been reading "not a fan" by Kyle Idleman. This book is a good one so far (slow reader here) I would recommend it based on the chapters I have read so far. This chapter has to do with the "sermon" Jesus is preaching in Matthew 23. I have always thought of these verses as just talking to a particular group of people, now I know and believe it is talking to everyone, all of us, for we all fall into this at some point or another. Maybe more than once.
Jesus is in Jerusalem teaching as the Sadducees and Pharisees are standing around listening trying to find a cause to bring Him to court. Jesus knows their hearts and the hearts of every person there, remember Judas would have been standing there too. He was still apart of the 12 disciples at this point, he probably had not even had a thought of betraying Jesus yet. Jesus tells the people in the group to consider the scribes and Pharisees and how they seat in the seat of Moses and uphold the laws. And in the very first few sentences Jesus says, they tell you what to observe and do, but they do not do it. They were telling the people to love, worship, and honor, God in all that they do, yet they themselves were doing it only to be looked on with authority, and to get the best that they could here on earth. They did the things they did for the praise of man, and not to honor God. How many times do we do the things we do to be appreciated, to get recognition, and to honor ourselves?
Now fast forward to the verses in the quote (Matthew 23:25-26), Jesus uses an analogy that every person in the world can understand. We all have utensils we use to eat with. We want those to be clean, but what if we only cleaned the outside so that people would "think" it was clean. Would we want to let someone use a cup like that? Jesus told the people that the Saduccees and Pharisees were like cups that had been cleaned up on the outside, but on the inside they were dirty. On the inside they had not taken care of business and they were not ready to meet their maker. Jesus told them to clean the inside first and the outside would take care of itself in the process.
It is the same in our lives. Many time we try to make it look good to the people around us. We go to church, we sing in the choir, we give offerings, and we even volunteer, yet all the while that outward appearance is not what is really on the inside. On the inside we hide pride, unforgiveness, selfish ambitions, lust, and many other sins. Jesus said if we would clean those up, then everything else would fall into place. Is it an easy task, no! Can we do it? NO, not by ourselves, we need to allow Jesus to help us. With Him everything is possible.
Lord, I am not totally clean on the inside and I know that, I have issues I need to deal with and get out of the way so that my whole vessel can be clean for you. Lord, please help me clean my cup up, so you can fill it to over flowing with all you have to give me. Thank-you Lord for your grace and mercy.
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside nay be clean also. ~Matthew 23:25-26The Drawing: