One of the first things I remember about the Bible was a passage in Matthew. I decided then and there I would never ever be a hypocrite! I didn’t really know what a “hypocrite” was all about but I knew something about cups and dishes. One of my house hold chores was to do dishes – no automatic dishwashers in those days!
Matthew 23:25-25 (KJV) reads, Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter that the outside of them may be clean also.
I didn’t know a Pharisee from a Scribe. I didn’t know what extortion and excess was the word “woe” usually meant something bad! And when you read verses 27-29 with these two, then you sit up and pay attention – “within full of dead men’s bones and full of all uncleanness”. Plus, you have to notice that it is Jesus saying all that stuff!
Later on in life, I discovered the real meaning in this powerful message. It was more than washing a cup and plate with dish soap; it was more than getting your mouth washed out with Lava soap! For me, the Never Ever became Forgive me Lord! To get there you have to heed the Scriptures and put it all together.
Let’s imagine a heart surgeon opens up the chest and finds a heart gray with sickness but rather than probing to find the cause of the ailment, he takes a brush and paints the heart bright pink! That does not heal the sick heart.
It is said that “paint-job religion” is popular today. Keep a few rules. Nod at God. Toss the church a bone. Placate the preacher. But to be honest, the only question important is, “What’s going on in the heart?” Jesus always started on the inside. He knew that you could make the outside look good but it’s the dirt that has to be removed. Jesus heals the heart and in His hands it sparkles!
The verse that your children are reading: You’re hopeless, you religious scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You burnish the surface of your cups and bowls so they sparkle in the sun, while the insides are MAGGOTY with your greed and gluttony. Stupid Pharisee! Scour the insides and then the gleaming surface will mean something. Matthew 23:25-26 (Message)
The one thing I have learned over the years, it takes “work” to not be a hypocrite! It takes daily cleansing and much prayer to keep our hearts clean. Remember the Word tells us to “examine ourselves” when did you have your last exam? Have you painted over your heart issues so you might look good to those around you?