The Inside of the Cup
Matthew 23:26 (NIV)Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
A conversation that Jesus often had with the Pharisees had to do with their hearts. He was constantly challenging them in areas of hypocrisy. This was because their tendency was often to worry about what others saw on the outside and neglect greater sins of the heart. They wanted to look holy and practiced their righteous deeds publicly for others to see.
At one point Jesus told them that it was like they were washing the outside of the cup but that the inside was dirty – It’s a gentle warning for all of us. We should take care and make sure we’re not like the Pharisees practicing outward righteousness only to look good in front of others. When I read about Jesus’ interactions with these men it causes me evaluate my own heart and check for hypocrisy and it makes me want to maintain a clean heart before God. I want to let God point out anything in my heart that needs attention.
It’s a danger with all of us to worry more about how we appear in our Christian walk to others while neglecting the more secret sins of the heart but the heart is really what God sees and nothing can be hidden from Him anyway. So let us take note and let God investigate even the private struggles in our hearts.
Psalm 51:10(NIV) Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.