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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday Sermonette - The Road to Golgotha, Part 5: Dirty Dishes

“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 of them may be clean also. Matthew 23:26-26, NKJV

How much sense would that make, washing the outside of your dishes and leaving the insides dirty?

Not much.

The Pharisees apparently held cleanliness next to Godliness. There were certain rules as to how to wash the hands as well as the vessels used for various ceremonies. And even though the people in those days knew nothing about germs, they knew that eating out of a dirty bowl could make them sick.

So now Jesus was telling the Pharisees their lives were like bowls filthy on the inside and polished spit-clean on the outside. Impressive to look at, but writhing with worms where no one could see. Ew.

This little tidbit was only one in a long list of insults (albeit straight-flying arrows) aimed at them. Is it any wonder they wanted to get rid of him?

Notice this happened in Chapter 23 of Matthew. It's drawing close to the time where He will be arrested. Two things are going on: Jesus is getting fed up with the hypocrisy of the church leaders, and said leaders are trying to think up ways to get rid of this Guy who's rocking their boat.

Never mind that He was exposing their faults they thought they had so carefully hidden. So many people, when Jesus exposed a fault in their lives, said, "What must I do to be saved?" Just think what might have been if these pompous men might instead have done the same thing.

How many times do we try to cover up when we do something wrong instead of saying "I'm sorry" and starting off new? We can't change Jesus's history (and really, we wouldn't want to), but we can change our own.

Go ahead. Clean out the inside of your dishes!

Lord--remind us just as brutally when we get filled with trying to impress on the outside but ignoring the inside. Then grant us the courage to make the change. Thank You, precious Lord. Amen
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