We know how to clean our bodies by showering or bathing, but do we understand that we also need to get our insides cleaned? How do I know this? Because I have been confronted with this myself. What in the world do I mean? Bear with me and read these words.
Luke 11:37-44: When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. But the Pharisee, noticing that Jesus did not first wash before the meal was surprised. Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? But give what is inside the dish to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. Woe to you Pharisees, because you give a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone. Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which men walk over without knowing it.” They gave no thought to the condition inside themselves and how spiritually far they really were from God. And the thing most important thing to Jesus, to God about each of us is our spiritual side, what we are truly like on the inside.
We need to desire and be action orientated about our inside to be kept clean and pure as well. We as people can spend an exorbitant amount of time on our outside appearances and status and the like can’t we? But what about the inside and what about our conscience? Jesus desires for us to see our insides as the most important, not the outside. Sounds opposite of how the world thinks doesn’t it? If we don’t first start looking at Jesus, the one who made us, reading his word, we will never learn all there is he wants us to know about ourselves and our insides. Jesus was saying to the Pharisees, look inside yourself and at your sins and what you are doing… you are living not from me but from yourselves. The Pharisees desired only to lift themselves up in their own eyes and other people’s eyes, to be seen, to be recognized, be pointed to and revered. They cared so much for the outside and their power but never took the time to look deep inside. The Old Testament had laws that said if a person touched a grave he was unclean. Jesus said because of the Pharisees corruptness they were guilty of making everyone else who came into contact with them unclean also. Innocent people became contaminated themselves with sin and got caught up in uncleanness too because of not staying close enough to God and not their leaders. Their leaders uncleanness was sin. And sin keeps a person separated from God.
Please read more. Luke 11:45-54: One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.” Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them. Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your forefathers who killed them. So you testify that you approve of what your forefathers did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs. Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’ Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all. Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.” When Jesus left there, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose him fiercely and to besiege him with questions, waiting to catch him in something he might say.
How blind can a person be right?! The Pharisees wanted to be known for building tombs for the prophets but didn’t look at how their forefathers could possibly be wrong in killing the prophets? This is because they refused to even consider Jesus. Jesus talked about the load people had to carry on the inside because of all the Pharisees’ rules, and how the ‘experts in the law’ didn’t do anything about it… uncaring, selfish and blind that they were. And even after Jesus leaves, the Pharisees continue to conspire against Jesus instead of having a look inside themselves and trying to understand even a little what Jesus was talking to them about. Attack and do not look inside to see if there might be even a grain of truth inside! And in reality if they had they would have seen that Jesus was telling them the whole truth. He was their long awaited Messiah! We must take the time for our insides to be thought about. God wants us to compare ourselves to what we see and hear about in his word. Why? Because our thoughts and feelings can be wrong unless we compare them against God’s word of truth. He gives us the straight story about ourselves. Just ask him to help you.
Jesus tells us we cannot change from the inside out without his help. We are dependent on him for this and he wants us to depend on him. No one can truly understands that they need him without his help and drawing. His grace is a free gift for all mankind that only Jesus Christ himself can give. It is from Jesus alone and only by his grace through faith from him that we may receive it. We may try to change ourselves on our own but we will always fall short. Why? Because it is beyond our ability. For you must become born again. We need Jesus Christ. And he created us for himself. Only Jesus can cleanse us from our sin and from the inside out. But Jesus gives us this hope in the true story of his death on the cross and his dying for us, shedding his blood for each of us, and rising from the dead on the third day thereby destroying sin’s power over death. Jesus Christ is the free gift in what he did for you. This free gift is given to any who sincerely desire to change and thereby connect you, to God the Father. It is a free gift given to those who desire with whole hearts to repent fully of their sins and believe in him and what he’s done for them. Come just as you are if you desire to have new life and believe he did this for you. No need to ‘clean up’ before you come because Jesus loves you right where you are at right now. In John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Glory be to God for providing a way for us!
Whether you are a Jew or a Gentile, Jesus is coming back one day!