The table is set. The fine china has been pulled out, linen napkins, the family silverware, and the crystal glasses. It’s Christmas dinner. The food is on the table ready to be served. The family is gathered, bellies grumbling at the smells of the delicious foods they see. But all eyes are on one thing.
The outside is roasted to perfection. The color is a beautiful golden brown, with moisture glistening off the sides.
“Catherine, if this turkey tastes half as good as it looks, we’re all in for a real treat.” -Clark Griswold
And then, the unimaginable happens. He slices into the bird and it splits wide open, steam bursting out of the disintegrated inside of the turkey.
It looked so good… but the truth was ugly.
Yesterday, we heard Jesus rebuke the Pharisees and scribes for being hypocrites. They had come to Jesus asking Him why the disciples “transgressed the tradition of the elders” by not washing their hands when they ate. These men were so focused on traditions that had been added to the law that they failed to see the real truth. And it was ugly.
The disciples were also confused, but different from the Pharisees who became angry, they sought out understanding from the Lord.
“Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” (Matthew 15:15-20)
The outside may look pretty, but it’s what’s on the inside that matters to the Lord.
If you cut deep into man, you see the heart. And as Jesus shared, that’s where it gets ugly. We have a sin nature and anything that comes out of us had to originate somewhere. The words you say, the desires you have, the actions that come from your temptations, all of these things come from within. Jesus wanted them to see that this was a Spiritual matter, not just a physical one. The focus for these Pharisees, supposed men of God, should have been on the spiritual aspect, but they were blind. Man has a corrupt heart, but all they could see were dirty fingers.
We can dress it up, make it look beautiful, appealing, delightful, and inviting, but if anyone were to see the inside of each of us, would they be shocked? The only thing that can change our heart is Jesus. Nothing we do or could ever do can change our sin or take it away.
And He’s done everything needed to change you from the inside out, you simply have to believe He will do it and have faith in Him to save you.
Will you trust Him today?