The average American places the outfit worn today into a laundry basket to be washed before the week is over. While work clothes used around the house may be worn more than once, clothes tend to collect stains over time. Whether its a casualty of a morning cup of coffee, grease from fast food or a pen that explodes, the process of turning dirty laundry into clean clothes provides a sense of accomplishment.
You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean, Matthew 23:26.
If you have ever traveled or visited a new culture, there is a chance you might offend someone by what you wear. You may under dress in one city and over dress in another. However, its not what you wear that counts. Ultimately, its what’s on the inside of your heart that matters to God. This is the point Jesus is making above, allowing an analogy to urge Pharisees to look within before judging others.
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart,” 1 Samuel 16:7.
When I became a youth pastor, I wanted to create a short booklet that I could leave with people who decided to follow Jesus or were beginning to seek God in an exploratory stage. While the title is Finding a New Life in Christ, the concept is based upon dirty laundry. Mistakes that people make are like stains on clothing; symbolic of sin which slowly corrupts souls. The only one who can Shout out these stains is Jesus, who is the perfect Lamb of God. Jesus’ life, death and resurrection opened the washer to purify our souls. Therefore, the next time you do laundry, remember the price Jesus paid to make you clean once again.
by Jay Mankus