Clean From the Inside Out
Jesus consistently clashed with the religious leaders of the day. His harshest words were not for society’s sinners but for the religious rulers. In Mark chapter 7 we have a run in with Jesus and the Pharisees over ritual cleansing. The Pharisees had a lot of rules about how to wash your hands and how to wash your cups and bowls. Jesus and His disciples didn’t follow these rules. We read this exchange in verses 5-7: 5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?” 6 He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
The Pharisees were good at keeping the outside clean but were pretty dirty on the inside. Later Jesus would actually refer to the Pharisees as “white washed tombs…full of dead men’s bones”. If we are honest (and why wouldn’t we be?), I think we would all agree that the outside is easier than the inside to keep clean. The outside of a cup cleans easier. The outside of a car cleans easier. But what matters most is not the outside but the inside. Later in that same chapter Jesus says this: 20 And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
This is why we need Jesus Christ to cleanse us from the inside out. Our good works and efforts to please God are like cleaning the outside but those good works do nothing to remove our sin…they only white-wash the sin. When we trust in Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit indwells us and makes us new, from the inside out. If you will submit to the power of God He will make you clean on the inside and what always happens is that such inward cleanliness makes a difference on the outside as well! So, look to Jesus to clean you from the inside out. If I can help in any way with something you’re struggling with, message me and I’ll contact you.