Journal Luke 11 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)

Scripture: “While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him…so (Jesus) went in and reclined at table.

 

The Pharisee was astonished to see that (Jesus) did not first wash before dinner.

 

And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.  You fools!!  Did not he who made the outside make the inside also?  (but) Give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you.”  Luke 11:37-41

 

Observation:  Simply: What is more important?  The inside or the outside?

 

Analysis:  Most folks would nail this on the first try: “Why the inside, of course.  Give me another softball question, please.”

 

What is easier to address?

 

If a house is repainted, afterward it looks pretty good; it can be represented as in good shape, well taken care of, etc., with the house actually have just gone through “Zombie Housing Flip.”

 

Of course, the outside is easier; we all go through the “do this, don’t do that” cycles.  Stop smoking, cursing.  Stop drinking/don’t get drunk, illicit sex.  Clean up my act, etc.  Unfortunately, if I clean up my outside and start to feel good about that and even get compliments—I can stop going deeper.  I can get religious…

 

Being a Pharisee or any other description of becoming “religious”, concerns itself with what the outside looks like; what people see.  “Looks good, smells good, acts well—must be good, no evil here—move along, move along…”

 

Back to the story: “This so-called rabbi DID…NOT…WASH!!  Horrors!  How can he present himself anywhere close to Godly?  A godly man…. washes!  Oh my, oh my.”

 

Jesus’ response?  “You are fools—focusing on the godliness found in a wet sponge—which is no godliness at all.”

 

Paul picks this thought up to the Corinthians:

 

2 Corinthians 13:5 – Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? —unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

Prayer:  Father, I am appreciative that you give us songs and lyrics to drive sound doctrine into Man’s heart:

 

To obey is better than sacrifice
I don’t need your money
I want your life
And I hear you say that I’m coming back soon
But you act like I’ll never return

Well you speak of grace and my love so sweet
How you thrive on milk, but reject My meat
And I can’t help weeping of how it will be
If you keep on ignoring My words
Well you pray to prosper and succeed
But your flesh is something I just can’t feed

To obey is better than sacrifice
I want more than Sunday and Wednesday nights
Cause if you can’t come to Me every day
Then don’t bother coming at all
La, la, la

To obey is better than sacrifice
I want hearts of fire
Not your prayers of ice
And I’m coming quickly
To give back to you
According to what you have done
According to what you have done
According to what you have done

Keith Green, 1978

 

AMEN

Rick Sutton