Theme: THE DANGER OF HYPOCRISY
Text: “And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat. And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner. And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.” – Luke 11:37-39.
Comment: In the abovementioned text for today, Jesus Christ, who was above filth of any description, drew the ire of his host by sitting at meal without washing his hands. See Mark 7:3, 4. For firmly upholding this “tradition of the elders” and making the law of God of no effect, Christ showed his authority by defying their tradition calling them “hypocrites”, “blind guides”, “whited sepulchres“, “serpents” and “generation of vipers”, who “outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity”. (Matthew 23) Jesus made it bare that the observance of “bathing as an indispensable prerequisite” before bread was the tradition of men. He pointed out to them that what defiles a man are sinful thoughts that proceed from the heart – “…murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies…” ; “but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man”. – Matthew 15:17-20.
Earlier he had told them, “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Matthew 15:7-9) St. Paul exhorts us thus: “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” – Hebrews 10:22.