Matthew 23:26, “You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.”
In this verse Jesus chides the Pharisees for how they were doing the dishes… Well, that isn’t really the case; but Jesus is teaching about a sort of cleanliness. The Pharisees liked to walk around and show themselves as being holy; spiritual giants. Jesus is proclaiming several woes on them for how they conduct themselves; how the condition of their hearts doesn’t match their outward appearance. They seem holy on the outside, but inside their ugly, dirty, and unholy; their hearts are hard and rotten. In another verse Jesus calls them whitewashed tombs – kept clean on the outside so they look nice, but inside they’re bones and rotting flesh. Jesus teaches to cleanse the heart, keep it washed in His word; if that’s the case then the outside will be clean – cleanliness comes from within.
I can try to put on a good face, put on airs; make myself seem holy and upright; make a showing of prayer, tithing or ministry; but if it’s not done with a good heart it means little. I have to remember to keep my heart washed; clean in His eyes; then my outer actions will truly match my heart.
Father, I pray for a clean heart. Just as Psalm 51 says, “Create in me a clean heart, Oh God, and renew a right spirit within me. My desire is to be holy in your eyes, not to seem holy in front of others. Do a mighty work in my life, and strip my heart of falsehood. Amen.