Monday, September 21, 2009

Matthew 15 -- Clean and Unclean

Many have heard or used the phrase, "cleanliness is next to godliness". Part of that is true, while it needs some interpretation. Issues of clean and unclean are rather important in Jesus day, and today for some. The religious people of the day had many ritual cleanings which they did through out the day. Prescribed hand washings, the washing of plates and bowls before and after use. The washing of feet and body. The religious leaders were very concerned about the outward appearance of what they were doing.

Jesus takes on this issue in Matthew 15. The exterior is not nearly as important as the interior to Jesus. Some heavy claims are levied against the religious people of the day. What matters most according to Jesus is what comes out of a person, not what goes in. Having the right appearance does not mean the right things are happening within a persons life.

The real measure of our relationship with Jesus is found in the living of our lives not the claims about our lives. We can go through all the right motions and still be far away from God. There can be a strict adherence to all the do's and don'ts of religious life, and still no relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

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