Luke 11:37-41– When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. But the Pharisee, noticing that Jesus did not first wash before the meal, was surprised.
Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? But give what is inside the dish to the poor, and everything will be clean for you
Remember that Jesus has just finished speaking to Pharisees about always demanding ONE MORE SIGN and never benefitting from the evidence already given. He had spoken about the importance of having GOOD EYES that will let in the light and allow you to see God’s Truth through that evidence. Upon completing His discourse, He is invited to dinner by a Pharisee. The Pharisee had eyes good enough to notice that Jesus did not first wash prior to the meal. He was likely one of those whose eyes were not good enough to recognize who Jesus really was, but he was very quick to pick up on this ritual neglect of Jesus on this occasion. Ceremonial cleansing was not commanded in the Law, but the Pharisees had added it to their traditions (Mark 7:3). Such a religious leader and expert as Jesus should certainly be astute to these practices, and this Pharisee was surprised to see that Jesus was not keeping this tradition. It’s not hard to imagine that Jesus intentionally neglected this ceremonial washing in order to provide the opportunity for a spiritual lesson of greater significance.
“Then the Lord said to him, ‘Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.’” Although the Pharisee expressed some measure of offense that Jesus did not wash like the rest of his guests, the Lord did not seek to flatter or comply with His host. Instead, He gave this sharp rebuke! While the Pharisees were faithful to practice the cleansing of their hands (the outside), they habitually neglected to clean up their heart and soul – on the INSIDE! Pharisees stressed many things that focused on the OUTWARD appearance and behavior, but spent very little, if any emphasis, on the things that were INTERNAL! They looked good and clean and religious on the OUTSIDE, but Jesus rebuked them for the greed and wickedness they harbored on the INSIDE! Can you imagine serving someone a meal with dishes and cups that had only been washed on the outside? That would be absolutely foolish wouldn’t it? Yet, this is what the Pharisees are serving God with! They are dishes, nicely washed on the outside, but full of greed and wickedness on the inside! They are NOT intent on serving God, they are consumed with self-serving agendas! So, they present Him with CLEAN HANDS, but also with an IMPURE HEART!
Our Lord reminds the Pharisees that the One who made the outside (the hands) made the inside (the heart) as well! If you are going to wash the outside and do all this religious ritual out of reverence for God, then don’t neglect the most important cleansing – a pure heart! Jesus does not leave them to determine how they might do that on their own. He tells them to give what is inside the dish to the poor. How can you clean up those greedy ambitions? Give to the poor! Having a heart for the poor and investing your resources and energy in ways that elevate the welfare of others is evidence that your heart is no longer in the grip of greed! Wicked and greedy hearts only ask, “What’s in it for me?” Clean that up and what do you get? A pure heart that blesses God by its service to others! You get giving and investing that is like unto God’s own heart! He so loved the world, in all of its poverty of sin and sorrow, that He gave! He invested in poor lost souls like me and like you, by giving the most precious gift of His heart – His One and only begotten Son!
Thursday: Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.
Friday: Pray for the Good News families of the week: Brandon & Sandy Burtner (Elijah, Eliana), Greg Conibear, Juan & Jennifer Davila (Arianna, Angelina, Gabriella)
Saturday: Recognize that people may be more concerned with the outside, but God looks on the heart
Sunday: Attend worship service, ready to welcome the truth of the Gospel into your heart and soul!
Monday: Pray that your heart may be purified and delivered from greed and wickedness!
Tuesday: Pray that your giving will reflect that you are no longer in bondage to greed and self-serving!
Wednesday: Remember that your heart is important to God – don’t be just outwardly religious!