"And as he spoke, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.
And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.
And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.
Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?" (Luke 11:37-40)
One of our favorite T. V. shows is a sitcom called "Keeping Up Appearances". It is a BBC program, and was filmed in Great Britain.
The theme of each episode is about a woman who lives a fantasy of being proper and of "high social standing".
In actuality, she was from a poor family. Her "daddy" is a dirty old man. One of her sisters is a tramp that preys upon married men. Another of her sisters is married to shiftless, bone-idle fellow who drinks beer and watches the "tele" all day. The third sister is wealthy, but is married to a cross-dresser. Her only child is a guy named Sheridan, who is a "professional student" that is always calling home looking for money.
But she tries to make every one believe that she is royalty, and has a proper family of well-to-do citizens of the aristocracy. It is a hoot to watch as she works hard at, "Keeping Up Appearances".
The Lord went home with a fellow that worked hard at "Keeping Up Appearances", as well. But He was not impressed.
Jesus said, "...ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness." (v. 39)
The Pharisees were great pretenders! They made out like they were not sinners, and that they were "Holier-than-thou"! The outside of the cup was clean, but the inside of the cup had not been washed!
They thought that they had deceived everyone. But, they had not fooled the Lord! No one can.
Jesus rarely called a person a fool, but He did here, in this Pharisee's house. "Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?" (v. 40)
Yes, He did. And the maker knows better than anyone how things work, and what is inside.
You may be an "Andy Griffith Show" fan. If so, you will remember an episode where Barney buys a car. He bought it from a little old lady that turned out to be the leader of a bunch of car thieves. Boy, the outside of the car looked immaculate, but the things that you couldn't see were a mess. Barney and the whole gang went for a drive through the country. It was a good thing that a lot of people went with him, because they had to push the car back home!
Jesus stressed the point that, "It's what is on the inside that is most important".
So, clean up the inside first! Then what is on the outside will come right in line.
From my heart to your heart.