FIRST CLEANSE THAT WHICH IS WITHIN
MATTHEW 23: 25 - 28
(PAGE 1448 COME ALIVE BIBLE)
JESUS CHRIST wants to help you internalize your faith. That is,
make it personal and relevant. In a day when many people
externalize religion, this is a refreshing appeal.
With so much betrayal of the faith it is as though the world is
begging us Christians: "Won't you please be real!" Likewise,
our beloved Lord constantly appeals to us to have the same
Christ dealt with people on His earthwalk that had all the
external appearances of religion. Internally they were
The Master was indeed a master teacher. He utilized a visual aid
His audience could understand. Using a cup as an example, He
posed the thesis of washing a cup. Who would wash the outside
and not the inside? Which is more important, to wash the outside
of a cup or the inside? Of course, the inside. It is even better
if both the inside and outside are both clean.
The Pharisees to whom Christ spoke were meticulous about
applying ceremonial laws to cleansing vessels in the temple. The
largest of the six books of the Mishna, their commentary on
ceremonial law, had thirty chapters devoted to the single
subject of vessels and their cleansing.
They were fastidiously concerned about these laws dealingwith
externals, while inconsiderate and even indifferent about
personal internal spiritual cleansing.
Ritual, not righteousness, was their concern.
Christ presses His illustration further. He describes these play
actors as being like whitewashed tombs. They are beautiful and
white on the out ...
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