The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil.” Luke 11:39 NABRE
A Pharisee invites Jesus to dine with him and is amazed when Jesus does not observe the prescribed washing before the meal, a custom of ritual purity not required by the Law of Moses but added by latter traditions. There is a body of detailed, unwritten, human laws regarded by the scribes and Pharisees having the same binding force as that of the Mosaic law (see Mark 7:3-5 NABRE and associated footnotes.) Jesus challenges the thinking on ritual purity. Essentially Jesus wonders what good is it to clean the outside if on the inside we are immoral and even evil. This is a challenge to the Pharisees Jesus issues many times in scripture. The view Jesus has of the body of Pharisee are those who put on a good show but when it comes to true love and care for the people they are lacking. Here as in other places Jesus denounces the hypocrite, He calls them fools, a term usually applied to the wicked. They are concerned with the outside and neglect the inside where moral contamination originates. Jesus will go on to challenge them to give alms and everything will be clean for them. There is a blessing that comes from almsgiving, a benevolence for the poor, giving food or money. We cannot have a hard heart and freely give to those in need. Jesus is aware this will change the hearts of those who give.
Many followers of Jesus look to ritual and law to guide their Christianity, often the “rules” become more important than the heart. We can live our entire life without knowing the “rules” and be a saintly follower of Jesus, simply if we love. The heart that loves is clean and cannot be corrupted by evil.
What is your heart like? Are you a rule follower or a lover, maybe both?The heart that loves is clean and cannot be corrupted by evil. Click To Tweet
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