The Inside of the Cup

“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. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.  In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
Matthew 23: 25-28

There is an episode of Gilligan’s Island called "Seer Gilligan" where Gilligan is able to read the minds of his fellow castaways. He gains this temporary ability by eating seeds from a special bush. He gets more of the seeds to share with his friends and soon all of them are reading each other’s minds. Though it is a novelty at first, they very quickly discover that though each of them presents a nice pleasant exterior, inside they are thinking insulting and accusatory thoughts about each other. Soon they are all arguing and fighting. Gilligan does the right thing and burns the bush of the mind reading seeds and all harmony is restored.

Though it is a funny episode, it is VERY TRUE for all of us.

We all have an exterior person that we present to the world or as Jesus calls it, the Outside of the Cup. As Christians, we might present ourselves as warm and welcoming, pure and innocent, or loving and compassionate, but what really matters to God is the Inside of the Cup – our true self. Our heart.

Like a cup, our heart contains our actual thoughts, feelings, desires, beliefs, motives and who we REALLY are.  There are plenty of seemingly pleasant, caring, responsible, and hard working Christians who in reality are vain, petty, apathetic, envious, self-centered, cynical, angry and negative in their hearts.

It doesn't matter how happy, smiley, respectable or responsible we may appear to on the outside, because who we REALLY are is hidden inside the cup of our hearts, away from all outside scrutiny.

So many times we hear stories of crimes, corruptions, hypocrisies and evil committed by a person who fooled everyone.

Jesus likens the ultra religious Pharisees to wolves pretending to be sheep.

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves." - Matthew 7:15

They held the keys to the faith making themselves out as righteous teachers showing all the people how to come to God, when in fact they were the farthest away from Him. They pointed at the sins of others yet hid away their own sins from view. They cared only for themselves and their power.

Jesus called them whitewashed tombs containing dead men's bones. They were DEAD INSIDE. They appeared righteous on the outside, but inside they were without conscience, without love, without a soul, and without God. Dead.

Jesus tells us what their fate will be.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:21-23

Most of us may not be as bad as the Pharisees, but all of us in some way or another has faked who we are to a degree.

When in church, do we sit there every week spacing out, watching the rituals unfold, reading the words, singing the songs, lifting our hands, kneeling and praying, while our minds are a million miles away, not focused on God at all? We may be relieved that no one can read our minds, but God knows everything.

For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”- 1 Samuel 16:7b

There is no fooling Him about ANYTHING. Jesus sees deep inside the cup and asks us to reflect on our real thoughts, motives and self interests and see that we may not actually be who we think we are.

Rather than living for God, so many of us are really living for ourselves.

Jesus wants the inside of us, who we really are, to be the SAME as the outside. He wants His followers to be AUTHENTIC and TRUE, so there are no contradictions.

He desires a heart that truly loves. A real smile that radiates His love and kindness. A heart that truly forgives, and a servant who serves with the joy of the Lord.

But to be authentic, the inside of the cup...our HEART... must be TRULY cleansed. But it is NOT us who does the cleaning, it is Jesus!
We cannot do anything to cleanse our self.

We must humble ourselves daily, confess our dirty cup and give ourselves to Him because ONLY Jesus can cleanse us, inside and out and fill our cup with the His Precious Holy Spirit.

Open your eyes and look inside. It is time for some serious dishwashing!


© 2013 Edrick

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