‭‭Matthew‬ ‭23:28‬ ‭NLT‬‬
“Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
Observation-What does it say?
Jesus is criticizing the religious leaders. He is calling them hypocrites. Jesus calls them out for their self-righteous attitudes. They don’t practice what they teach and everything they do is for show! He points out how they love to look so holy and important. But they blindly guide people the wrong way. They lead them one way, but they themselves refuse to follow their own directions and advice. Jesus warns them of all the sorrow that awaits them for their ways of misleading people.
Understanding-What does it mean?
Jesus calls us to be transformed from the inside out.
These religions leaders Jesus was criticizing in this chapter were hypocrites! Like Jesus said, they did everything for show. If they were actors, they would win an Oscar. But Jesus sees the heart. He sees that these leaders do their very best to “put on a good show”, and look holy on the outside, but their insides are filthy!
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.”-‭‭Matthew‬ ‭23:25-26‬ ‭NLT
So if we are truly to be Christ Followers, we need to make sure our “insides” are clean before even worry about our outside appearance. Because once we do the house cleaning from the inside, everything on the outside begins to look cleaner and brighter. And we all know, Jesus sees and judges the heart.
“The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”-‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭16:7‬b
Life Application
Don’t just do your “Christian duties” on Sunday, they should be flowing from you in your everyday walk of life.
Father God, may You continue to transform me from the inside out. Help me to be a good leader, One who practices what I preach. May You help me remove the filth inside me so Your Holy Spirit can dwell within me. Give me strength to abide in You so that Your love flows outwardly towards those around me. In Your name Jesus I pray these things, Amen.
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-Moses Gaddi