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ORNAMENTALS


Back in 1960, my family moved from Ohio to Arizona. The first time we went to the Phoenix Airport, I was impressed by the beautiful orange trees that lined the drive. It was the first time this Ohio boy had ever seen citrus trees. The oranges were big as grapefruits. They looked so good! So we stopped the car and picked a couple. When we got home, we cut into them … and we found out why no one else had picked them. The meat was grainy and pulpy and full of seeds. The juice was … well, lemons may be sour, but they are sweet in comparison to these lip-puckerers. We found out they are called ornamental oranges. Pretty to look at, but worthless as food.


This is how it was for people who followed the Pharisee’s teachings. They thought they were getting something good, but when they bit into it, it was nasty and bitter. But Jesus didn’t use a nice little illustration like ornamental oranges.


Read verses 25 – 28 and you’ll see that Jesus compared the Pharisees to dirty dishes and tombstones. Jesus said, You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Then he said, 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. Matthew 23:25, 27

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