HOST: Ron House
While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table. The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner. And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you. “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.”
Jesus uses harsh language in this passage to condemn the Pharisees for their hypocritical attitudes and actions. To the casual observer, the Pharisees were the model of faithfulness and religious service. They were held up by the Jews as the most righteous among them. But Jesus saw through the outward appearance and into their hearts. Though their outward appearance and conduct may have seemed to be righteous, their hearts were unclean and their motives impure. Their lives were full of pretense and appearances, but empty in sincere and selfless devotion to God. Their desire was not to please God, but rather to receive the recognition, praise, and adoration of men. Their negative example and Jesus’ condemnation of them reaches through the centuries to instruct us. Hypocrisy is still a problem and is still condemned by God. One’s acts of worship and service, no matter how impressive and commendable, are meaningless if not from a sincere and genuine heart that loves God and desires to do His will. God is pleased with our righteous actions only if they are motivated by a holy and pure heart.
Why do you think God cares so much about the attitude of our hearts?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!