Isn’t this a lovely cup. My husband LOVES coffee and has tons of to-go mugs. This is one of his most recent that he purchased when he visited Cabela’s which is a three hour drive from our home. If you are ever in a pinch to get him a gift, a coffee cup is always a winner.
Well, it’s two weeks before school starts and there is cleaning up to do. Shawn’s office is in a terrible state. So I went in to help clean. He had begun to organize and there were some things set aside for me to take back home with me… a box of coffee mugs being one of them. You see, he is always getting coffee to go from home and every once in a while I receive a box full to clean out. Nothing out of the ordinary, I brought them home and began to wash them. I opened his prized Cabela’s mug and plunged my hand into the black interior only to be met with this…
…yes, it is disgusting!!! That reminded me of a time in the Bible where Jesus was publicly scolding the Pharisees for their legalism and there outward “show” of faith when really they had no faith at all. All the external “to dos” and “traditions” but they completely missed the mark when it came to being right with God and accepting the One who came to save mankind.
“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. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” – Matthew 23:25-26
You would think that it would happen the opposite of what it did. One would imagine that the Pharisees, who have studied the Law and been the most knowledgable of the prophesy of the Savior, would be the first in line to meet, greet, and welcome the Christ. Who would have thought that some lowly fishermen would do this instead. They were lowly fishermen, smelly and dirty. Their exterior apperance matched the inward apperance of the Pharisees. But everyone saw how “righteous” and knowledgeable the Pharisees were. Everyone that is, except Jesus. Who being in His very nature, God, saw them for who they truly were…hypocrites. Hypocrites who were keeping men from seeing Jesus for who He was, God in the flesh, come to seek and save those who were lost.
The fishermen on the other hand, had no “superior knowledge”. They knew that a Savior was coming, and when Jesus summoned them, they followed. They weren’t perfect, they often didn’t understand what Jesus was talking about, they sometimes would doubt, and they even fled from Jesus the night He was betrayed. But they had moldable hearts. They knew they needed cleansing and that they were full of sin.
The Pharisees enjoyed their power and position in the eyes of man. The fisherman were not so popular to those around them. But Christ could see. He could see them on the inside…
“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7
When He looks inside you… what does He see? Does He see someone who looks to man for acceptance, edification, and merit? Or does He see someone who lowers themselves before Him, and declares Him their only source of strength, knowledge, fulfillment, and being? You may be able to fool your fellow man, but you CANNOT fool God. He created you and He knows who you are when no one else sees you. He saw through the Pharisees “fanfare” and He sees through ours.
The cup may look pretty on the outside, but what awaits on the inside? Is it clean? Or is there a clump of slimy ooze sitting there beginning to grow mold? We can look great and go through the motions and still be stinky like a fisherman on the inside.
So once again we are faced with a choice…
God Seeker or Man Appeaser?
Cleanliness or Oozines?
Fisherman or Pharisee?
“choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve”
– Joshua 24:15
[Suggested Reading: Matthew 23]