When he finished that talk, a Pharisee asked him to dinner. He entered his house and sat right down at the table. The Pharisee was shocked and somewhat offended when he saw that Jesus didn’t wash up before the meal. But the Master said to him, “I know you Pharisees burnish the surface of your cups and plates so they sparkle in the sun, but I also know your insides are maggoty with greed and secret evil. Stupid Pharisees! Didn’t the One who made the outside also make the inside? Turn both your pockets and your hearts inside out and give generously to the poor; then your lives will be clean, not just your dishes and your hands.
Source: Luke 11:37-41 (The Message)
This all came about because Jesus didn’t wash his hands before he ate. Seriously. This was a huge Jewish ritual from the old covenant. Jesus was focused on the new covenant and the Kingdom of God that he was ushering in. Jesus was already moving on.
Jesus knows my heart. Jesus knows what motivates me. Jesus came to get me right with God, His Father. Jesus does this by speaking the truth to us. One day, Jesus called Peter Satan. When I follow Jesus, I don’t get a break. I get challenged.
Imagine. I read this and I think, this doesn’t apply to me. I know I am worried about is the house clean before the guests arrive. What about my heart and the anger I have for my mother-in-law? Is that all good?
Really? Is my focus on what is inside of me or what others think? I know the answer to that too many days. I need to focus on my heart and what I think.
Jesus knows how to challenge me. It is all about my heart. AND … it is about generosity to the poor. Jesus didn’t throw that in for fun. Jesus means it.