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15. The Cup

Updated: Mar 11

Matthew 23: 2-3; 25-26 KJV

Says, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. 25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

Jesus begins by telling us of the scribes and Pharisees; that we should not follow after their works for they say and do not (v2-3). This is followed by a number of examples, serving as a warning to the religious leaders and their congregations in Jesus' day (v4-26). Verse twenty-five says, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!" Pointing out a problem when we attempt to clean the outside of the cup and platter ourselves. In other words, they were trying to look righteous without Jesus through external methods. Unfortunately, some in the church and congregations today are doing the very same thing. Men and women can say all of the right things, wear the right clothing, and pray, appearing to be righteous in order to draw attention to themselves rather than God. This can cause many to steer clear of the church, because (the church) has a holier than thou attitude. This is not to say, our clothing or what we say, and pray is problematic. Only when we are attempting to look righteous when we are not. The scribes and Pharisees did not know Jesus, having accepted him into their heart. They merely trying to look holy, righteous, and perfect. Matthew 15:8 KJV says it best. "This people draweth night unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me." God forbid we should find ourselves doing this, but if so, repentance is available to those willing to put God/Jesus first with their actions.

Jesus tells us to focus on the inside of the cup and platter, which we ourselves cannot clean, but only through the blood of Jesus Christ who washes us clean internally, having accepted Jesus into our heart. Once, we do this, Jesus cleanse us from the inside, whereby, the outside will follow suit. The scribes and Pharisees were attempting to do what only Jesus, himself can do internally and externally. Will you trust Jesus?

So we come, Just as I Am, allowing Jesus to cleanse us both inside and out. When he does, he will began a good work in us, transforming our lives into something totally outside of this world. Only then can we become a new creature in Christ Jesus, living for the King of kings and Lord of lords. This is not to say we will not have any problems, pain or sorrows, only that we are Born Again, growing in faith everyday.

Perhaps you have been trying to focus on the outside of the cup and platter yourselves rather than allowing Jesus to cleanse what is filthy both inside and out. Will you trust Jesus to cleanse you from within, spiritually? If you will, be prepared to be amazed by what he will do in our life.

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