The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

03/12/2014

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Cleaning Up


"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside will be clean" (Matt.23:25-26).

Are you old enough to remember that when the spring season came it was time to give the house and yard a good cleaning? For you younger folks out there, it was simply called "spring cleaning." Drawers and cabinets got emptied and rugs were hung over the clothesline to get a good beating. I'm getting tired just thinking about it... It seems like the Pharisees were in the "cleaning business" back in the days of Jesus. They were especially adept at getting the outside clean, after all, that's the part that everyone saw. Appearances were very important back then, as they are today. I hearken back to a favorite cartoon flying squirrel and say; "that trick never works." As far as Jesus was concerned, it took more than a clean facade to make one truly clean. On another occasion, the Pharisees made a big deal out of Jesus not having washed before a meal he shared with them. He said: "Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness" (Lk.11:39). Jesus always cut through all of the fat and got to the real meat of the issues. If people are truly clean it will show on the outside. It will show on the outside because the inside has been purged as well. Showing an outside appearance of morality and virtue just to be impressive to others is against biblical teaching. When people do that, they are exposed as someone that nobody wants to be... A hypocrite! God's cleanliness always starts on the inside. The reason that Christians are people willing and ready to serve others can be boiled down to very simple terms. They are good on the outside because the inside has been cleansed first. Maybe we ought to view it as a constant state of spring cleaning. We'll look at how to get this process going over the next few days...

Have a wonderful day... Make you little part of the world better... Love mark Phil.4:11

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