Summary: We need to be good dishwashers if we want to please the Lord!
• SLIDE #1
• All you have to do is turn on the television, look at a billboard, or look at a magazine and you will see that we are fixated on looking good.
• There are shows in television that focus on helping you to look good, shows like “What Not To Wear”, “How Do I Look” among many other shows. My wife watches one show where they grad someone off the street and tell them they need a make over.
• There is a big emphasis on looking good on the outside. In fairness, we do see a lot of self-help books out there, but it seems that the emphasis in on the outer appearance.
• There is another aspect to appearances. When I worked for the company, I saw a lot of people that would do things they thought would make themselves look good in the eyes of the higher ups. They would out on a show to try to make themselves look good.
• I have seen those who claim Christ change the way they act in front of a church leader or when they come to church.
• There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good physically nor is there anything wrong with wanting to make a good impression.
• The religious leaders of Jesus day had a real emphasis on external appearances. They took things to the extreme.
• The problem we can have and it is not much different from what the religious leaders struggled with, is that we can put so much emphasis on looking good on the outside or putting so much focus on appearances, that we neglect to work on what is inside of us.
• Today we are going to look at the seventh of eight ways we can be a bad Christian.
• Putting all of the emphasis of our lives on the external will cause us to struggle in our walk with Jesus.
• We will be in Matthew 23:25-28 this morning.
• Let us start by looking at verse 25.
• SLIDE #2
• Matthew 23:25 (ESV)25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
• We will start by looking at an example Jesus gave to illustrate His point.
• SLIDE #3
One example of focusing on the outside is:
I. EATING ON DIRTY DISHES.
• I want you to think this one out. Imagine you are out for a nice dinner at a fine restaurant. The atmosphere is great, the menu looks great. Your food comes to you. First the salad, oh it looks good. As you start to eat it, you see OLD FOOD encrusted in the bowel.
• Next comes the main course, smells good, looks good, you start to eat and you notice OLD STEAK sauce under your steak.
• You go to take a drink and you see food particles floating in your drink. You are so sickened, you skip dessert.
• I was at a Chinese restaurant the other day…
• The Greek phrase behind dish was often used of a platter on which exquisite delicacies were served. The idea is of a person who offers a guest a seemingly lovely meal served with the best wine. But it turns out that, although the utensils are beautiful and ceremonially purified, the food served on them was putrid. (MacArthur Jr)
• Jesus told these guys they had a serious problem.
• The Pharisees were diligent in observing all the washings and obligations required by their traditions. Drinking cups and dishes were carefully washed on the outside. Ceremonial cleansing was commanded in the Law and kept with a lot of zeal by the Pharisees.
• Can you imagine eating meals off of plates that were clean on the outside but on the inside they were never washed?
• This goes deeper than cups and dishes.
• Jesus told them they were so focused on things looking good on the outside, that they were neglecting what was going on in the inside of the cup and dish.
• Jesus hammered these folks for disregarding greater Laws about keeping their lives from wickedness.
• Jesus says they were full of greed and self-indulgence on the inside.
• Greed carries the ideas of plundering, pillaging, and extortion, and self-indulgence has the basic meaning of lack of self-control and was often used to denote unrestrained self-gratification. The unscrupulous religious leaders robbed the people they were supposed to serve in order to satisfy their own greed. They plundered both the souls and the wallets of the people and used the ill-gotten gains to serve themselves. (MacArthur Jr.)
• These folks were a mess inside, they were poor dishwashers, and they left nasty food on the inside of their cups and dishes.