It's not what I have[.] It's what I have to give. A blog about resources--gaining, giving, and sharing.

17 September 2010

Heart check

Okay, I'm jumping way ahead in Matthew to chapter 15:1-20. I just wrote another blog for our inner-city ministry called, "Metro Worship Center". We're also studying Jesus' words, so I figured I'd just post it here too. Anyway, I love this passage. We learn about how nit-picky the Pharisees were when the disciples didn’t wash their hands before dinner. Doesn’t that seem silly? It’s almost like the Pharisees were looking for something to gripe and complain about! Who wants to be around a griper and complainer?

Jesus went deeper, as He always does, to respond to their question. Jesus uses a very familiar term when addressing the “religious,” and calls them a bunch of hypocrites. Washing hands before a meal was a tradition and a way to keep clean, better term, pure. Jesus got pretty graphic in verse 17 to better illustrate to his disciples, paraphrasing, “Listen, whatever you eat gets digested in your stomach and then you…(you get the idea).” So, being pure isn’t about making yourself look pure. The Pharisees got the purity look down, but they were far from being pure.

How about you? Are you window-dressing purity, but inside the store (your heart/mind) tells a different story? It’s kind of like old rust-colored, black smoke spitting, unreliable starting, run-down cars, with BIG nice shiny chrome rims boomin’ down the street. You want to say, “Come on! You spent money on the wrong thing! You need to spend more time and money on the engine than the rims and stereo system.” Hear my heart in this next question, because I'm asking it of myself too. Is the inside of you your biggest obstacle to purity, while the outside raises hands in worship, quotes Bible scripture and puts on a show worth an Oscar? If so, Jesus has a word for that (check verse 7).