Look in the mirror. What do you see? Here’s the truth: you see what other people don’t. You see the reality of what is on the inside of the cup, and God sees it too. So what will you do? Work on the inside and the outside will take care of itself…
25 “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. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”
I have been thinking about how I make decisions. My conviction of late is that the decisions I make should reflect more of what is going on inside than outside. My friend has a sign in her office: Happiness is an inside job.
You know what an inside job is, right? The term is used of crimes which are committed with the collaboration of those on the inside. They know the facts and the plans and escape routes. Insiders can help you plan a successful mission or attack or theft. Insiders give you an advantage.
Happiness is an inside job. It is best organized from the inside. Just like reputation. D.L. Moody was attributed with the statement, “If we focus on our character, our reputation will take care of itself.” Reputation is an inside job.
Jesus is leaning hard into the Pharisees in his words here because they are examples for others in their culture. The Pharisees were influential religious leaders who set the bar for others. And their example was terrible. Jesus says they focused on how clean the outside of the cup and dish are while the inside is filthy.
Greed, self-indulgence, hypocrisy, and wickedness were four of the judgments Jesus made against these leaders. Man, they looked great on the outside, but they were full of junk on the inside…
Look in the mirror. What do you see? Here’s the truth: you see what other people don’t. You see the reality of what is on the inside of the cup, and God sees it too. So what will you do?
“First, clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” Make decisions which build your character and integrity and leadership on the inside, and then the outside will also be clean.
How would this apply to decisions you make which would please other people, yet go against your own principles? What about decisions you make which are self-serving and which build you up at the expense of others? Think about the better decisions you make.
Remember, this is an inside job…