The Pharisee was amazed to see that Jesus did not observe the prescribed washing before meal. The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil.”
Rituals and guidelines are all well and good if they are pointing us to God and making us more humble and compassionate. But when they are used to judge others as inferior, to cast-out others as somehow not worthy, or used to achieve “worthiness”…they are quite worthless. Jesus seemed to have no problem violating the religious rules because He knew the motives of the Pharisees were to use the rules to hold themselves above others as more worthy of God’s love. “Look how good I am as I follow these rules to the letter!” What good is that when at the same time you treat others with disdain and arrogance? Besides…it’s not about worthiness! God’s love is a free gift. The truth is…we all have more than enough inside of each of us that needs cleansing. Where is that place where you just keep messing up? That is not the place where God wants to condemn you…but it is precisely the place where God wants to be with you…and to love you. This is Good News!
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