A Clay Jar

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Full of Greed and Self-Indulgence

Matthew 23:25-26

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“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside of it may also become clean.

Matthew 23:25-26 CSB

Six times in this chapter, Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” and then condemned something that they were doing. It would be easy to assume that the Pharisees are terrible people, but that is not really the case. The Pharisees, among all the Jews of their day, were the most zealous for the Law of Moses and generally lived strictly according to its precepts. I suspect that if I had been a Jew in first-century Palestine, I would have been a Pharisee.

The problem with many Pharisees was that their hearts did not reflect their actions. They were making every attempt to keep the legalistic requirements of the Law, but it was having no impact on their inner person. Jesus accused them of appearing holy on the outside while being full of greed and self-indulgence, instructing them to focus on cleaning up on the inside.

Clean up the Inside

Of all the challenges Jesus issued to the Pharisees in this chapter, this is the one I find the most convicting. When I am honest with myself, I recognize my selfishness and self-centeredness, too often caring more about myself than others. Putting others first, which is what love is, does not generally come easy, but it is essential if I want to be clean on the inside where it counts.

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

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