Monday, August 22, 2011

Matthew 23:23-26 Judge yourself first

Jesus said:
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin,
and have neglected the weightier things of the law:
judgment and mercy and fidelity.
But these you should have done, without neglecting the others.
Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You cleanse the outside of cup and dish,
but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.
Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup,
so that the outside also may be clean."

In this passage, Jesus continues to blast the religious leaders of his time for their lack of holiness and genuineness. He accuses them of cleansing the outside while being defiled in the inside. This image applies to all of us who call ourselves people of God. We often cloth ourselves in religious garb and pretend to be all holy and righteous when in reality we are sinners, fallen and in great need of God's grace. Christ is calling us out of our arrogant selves and reminding us that holiness is not something that is displayed to others but something interior. It is more important to grow in relationship with God than receive the praise of others. Before we go around judging others and calling them "heathens" we must remind ourselves that we are equally in need of God's grace. 

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