Live "Inside Out," Not "Outside In."

Thursday, February 06, 2014 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

"Lighthouse" by Bryan Hudson 
Matthew 23:1 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! 25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. 

Jesus showed great compassion on people in trouble and people needing deliverance from sin, like the woman who was accused of committing adultery (John 8:1-11). On the other hand, Jesus was very hard on religious leaders who pretended to know God and represented themselves as holier than everyone else.

On several occasions in this text, Jesus points out how the outward appearance and behavior of the religious leaders betrayed their true inner motivations.
  • You pay tithes > BUT > neglect more important actions
  • Find fault in small things (“Strain out gnats”) > BUT > Fail on great matters (“Swallow a camel”)
  • Clean the outside for people to see > BUT > allow filth such as extortion and self-indulgence
  • Whitewash dead things > BUT > still full of deadness
  • Outwardly appear righteous > BUT > full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. 
As Christian leaders, this real life example from Jesus’ earthly ministry reminds to us to continue to draw upon the grace of God and the “Greater One” within us. Our outward actions are important, but ONLY to the degree that we are living “inside out.”

1 John 4:4, You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.