Luke 11:29-54; Genesis 20; Psalm 13
“When the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that He had not first washed before dinner. Then the Lord said to him, ‘Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness.’” (Luke 11:38-39 NKJV)
You’ve seen the signs in the restrooms at restaurants: “Employees Must Wash Hands.” You’d think that would be an obvious thing to do given what we know about germs, but we still have those signs for people. Most of us could sympathize with the Pharisees who were aghast that Jesus hadn’t washed before eating, then, until the practice is explained. We don’t know that Jesus didn’t clean His hands somehow, what we know is that He didn’t go through the Pharisaical handwashing routine. That routine wasn’t meant so much to cleanse the hands, the way our signs mean, it was meant to cleanse off the possible contamination of contact with the common people, or sinners. When the Pharisee called Jesus on His “lack” in this area, Jesus made sure that he knew that their hearts and their attitudes were full of greed and wickedness. Clean hands may have prevented contamination from sinners, but inwardly, they were rotten to the core. There are a lot of people who look good in this world. Sometimes they’re inside the church, sometimes they’re outside the church. They drive the best cars, wear the finest clothes, and eat the best food. Yet, without Christ, they have hearts that need cleansing from their greed and wickedness. Maybe, as we think about today, our attitudes haven’t always been the best. Maybe we looked good on the outside, but on the inside, we needed lots of cleaning.
Most of us don’t work on Saturday, so maybe you didn’t see the people that bring out your inner hostility. Then again, for so many people, it’s family that does that. So, maybe today was rough for you. Whatever the situation, think back to a recent time when you could look at your attitude and realize that you were straying from God’s plan for you. How did you feel when you lost it, whether it was visual for everyone else to see or you kept your anger hidden? If you’re like me, you probably feel bad about it, even if your anger was justified. Take heart, though, God forgives you, loves you, and keeps drawing you closer to Him.
Lord, too often I let wicked or greedy thoughts take control of my attitude. Help me to keep my eyes focused on You and work on my attitude to make it pleasing in Your sight.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.