Saturday, February 6, 2010

Clean on the Inside, Clean on the Outside

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. – Matthew 23: 25-26


Jesus is going pretty hard at the Pharisees.

This is a continuation of the reading from yesterday where Jesus has a run in with the Sadducees and Pharisees. They try to test him on scripture.

Not a good look.

After smashing them out with his knowledge he then goes on to tell them about themselves in various ways.

Some of the other ones had more punch; (being compared to shiny tombs with rotting corpses within is probably the worst one) but this one struck me the most when I read through it.

Jesus instructs us to first clean the inside of the cup and dish and then the outside also will be clean.

He didn’t say to clean the outside. He said that once the inside is cleaned then the outside will be also.


The way I see this is that it really doesn’t matter what we look like on the outside. What really matters is what is there inside of us.

It is easy to get hung up on appearances. We are visual creatures.

But imagine what life would be like if we only saw the inside of people. Imagine if we only saw the content of people’s characters rather than their appearance or clothes are cars.

The world would be an amazing place.

But that is not how we operate. We don’t have that magical God point of view to be able to look within the hearts and minds of the people we encounter for the first time. As a result most of us try to present the best parts of ourselves.

Now, this isn’t inherently bad. I like looking fly and putting my best foot forward like anyone else. But it is when there is a disconnect between the interior and exterior that we run the risk of entering the land of hypocrisy.

And nobody likes a hypocrite.

But we are not perfect right? We all have some wonderful things about us and some not so wonderful things. What are we supposed to do about that?

Just keep it real.

Life is a journey that is taken one step at a time. With each step, make it a step toward being a better person.

And the cleaner we become on the inside, the brighter our spirits will shine; so much so that the outside won’t even matter.

Today’s Reading: Exodus 39-40: Matthew 23: 23-39


  1. The movie Shallow Hal comes to mind here. Also, people exude their inward appearance. How many times have you encountered someone that was physically attractive that after you got to know them they had lost some of the beauty you originally saw? In inward person showed up. So, we should keep it real, but we should continually try to make 'real' better...

  2. Yep very true. I've been bamboozled many a time by looks but fortunately the truth does eventually show itself.

    And yes, we gotta constantly try to make the real better. great comment.


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