(ThyBlackMan.com) Matthew 23:25-26 “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.”
In 2018 a dutiful father in the state Indiana made a chilling discovery after dinner. Apparently his son favored the drink Capri Sun, and the father purchased it for him. After going to retrieve this sugary treat, he noticed it oddly shaped, and after opening it, found mold floating inside. Fortunately, the father never gave the drink to his son. As a result, the manufacturing company created containers with a clear bottom to see the contents inside. This fiasco put the brand on notice that parents won’t be lured by pleasant packaging when there’s a possibility of poison on the inside. How does this apply to Christianity today?
I think it’s vital to remember that a cup, no matter how polished and ornate is only as safe as its contents. No matter how decorative and pleasing it is to the eye, a cup isn’t viable for using based on its outward appearance alone. As Christ prescribes, the cup would need to be cleansed first before it can be utilized or drunk out of. This concept is a bit lost on today’s society. There are many that value the image of utility and service but unfortunately act unconcerned if right contents aren’t on the inside. In Scripture, the saints, the born again believers, are regarded as vessels.
This terminology is used to determine how we should function in the hand of God and in the service of the Lord. We are instruments that carry an experience of His glory, the revelation of Christ, in our earthen containers. How well we should treat and take care of the inside of our containers and not our outside only. Sadly, since undue attention has been placed on the outward show of religion there are many who can function in religious setting without providing any nourishment to the body of Christ. This is how synagogues could be filled in Jesus’ day, yet be some bound by a spirit of infirmity. Christendom, today, is filled with great singers, musicians, and orators, but is the body of Christ properly fed, or is it lacking in nourishment?
What was done by Christ in the time of the Pharisees is needed now in the Body of Christ at large. We need a health inspector. The church could use a cleaning up, not in the attempt to get rid of people, but in the attempt cleaning some up from the inside out. If the Spirit of Christ were to come and inspect your cup’s contents, what would He find? If He was to examine the platter upon which other souls were to consume upon, would He find it properly garnished and clean or would it look good enough for serving yet not safe for service? The Pharisees and scribes were a terror to the spiritual climate of their day not simply because of their outward actions.
Their outward actions pointed to religious organization, evangelistic zeal and legalistic observance of the Law, yet none of these actions caused them to confront the lack of conversion in their own hearts, though they demanded it of others. What Christ shows us is that the inside matters, perhaps more than the ostentatious show of religion. Our heart’s position towards God is paramount, especially if we are to be used to draw others to a relationship with Christ. How can we impart life to others if we are full of death and decay?
It isn’t enough to be considered Christian based on an outward display or proper packing. What are the contents of our hearts and our spirit before God? Are we allowing Him to develop the characteristics of Christ in our lives exemplified by the fruit of the Spirit? Or are we settling for being a visibly clean but inwardly poisoned cup? The inside indeed matters, and if we allow, He can make us clean; a vessel of honor meet for the master’s use.
Staff Writer; C. E. Davis
This man of God can also be found online over at; InfiniteTruth Devotion.
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