FROM THE INSIDE OUT
26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Matthew 23:26
One of the craziest things that has ever happened to me in my life is when I found out about a product called Krud Kutter. Yeah, I know that some of you may have never heard of this, but it is a real product and I have to admit that it actually does what it says. The church I was working at had just purchased a used bus that had not been used for some time. The bus had crud that had accumulated over the years because of lack of use and the youth were asked to help clean the bus and get it into working order. I literally spent hours on top of this bus with no success. I used everything that I knew as a cleaning agent but it would not even touch the junk that had been baked on the top of this bus. I literally remember telling myself that no one was going to see the top of the bus, why in the world does it matter, but for me it mattered. I wanted to do anything I could to make sure that this bus was in working order and ready to go whenever it was needed. Finally, I was almost to the end of the last aisle at Ace Hardware and there it was... Krud Kutter. I looked at the other college students that were with me and said, it cannot hurt to at least give it a try. Getting back to the church I remember getting a mop bucket and pouring some of the cleaning agent in with the water and started mopping the top of the bus for the 100th time. All of a sudden the crud started to mop away and within an hour the bus looked brand new. I honestly have no idea what was in Krud Kutter, but it has made me a believer for life.
I know you may be asking how in the world does that relate to our spiritual journey, and I know that some of you may see through the lines, but if you missed it. let me lay it out from my perspective. For so many of us we have been carrying a lot of CRUD in our lives. Whether it is the baggage from relationships or the scars from others, we have truly got A LOT of crud
in our lives that continues to build up in such a way that we don't think we can ever break free. There is so much junk in our lives that we just want to throw up our hands and give up. We are like, people cannot see what's going on in the inside. I can definitely just put on an amazing front and no one will ever see what's happening. Then the crud continues to cake up and build walls and can eventually cause us not to be able to recognize who we are or what has actually happened. We think we are ok, but eventually all of the crud from the inside begins to leak out and affects the outside as well. However, we cannot see the process. We become so accustomed to the change and fail to see the problems that may arise. Why? Because the inside the has been corrupted by the world, has not been revealed in our lives. Unless we are able to clean from the inside out, we cannot expect that a true change can occur. We cannot realize just how bad it has become until we peal back the layers and finally see ourselves as the original masterpiece God created us to be in the first place.
As we see in the scripture for today, Jesus is literally facing this same problem with the religious leaders of the day. We are watching as Jesus is watching the evil that has been hidden on the inside is beginning to ooze out in their daily lives. They can no longer hide the fact that they have not been corrupted by the world. The decisions that they have made is not affecting their outer lives. The corruption and greed of the day has caused them to forget their calling as Pharisees and Jesus is challenging them to remember their call to ministry. Jesus begins to mess with their livelihood and they are struggling to understand just how corrupted their lives have become because of their greed and authority they have obtained. They have lived in this livelihood for such a long time that they have become calloused to the evil lives they are living. When expectations outweigh their call, we find a quick route to corruption. We watch as the crud of this world disconnects them from the reality of who they truly are. They become hardened and in need of a Krud Kutter. Well, that was what Jesus was doing. Jesus was cutting through all of the falsehoods and helping them to see for the first time the reality of their decisions. They didn't like the truth. They hated being called out, but if they would have just taken a second to realize how bad their lives had become, maybe they would have finally understood the message Jesus was trying to teach them.
It is truly not easy to see and recognize just how much crud we have built up in our lives. We get so accustomed to over compensating for the issues at hand. We find new ways to settle and eventually we cannot recognize who we have become at all. Jesus uses this simple
illustration to remind us that we have to clean the inside for the outside to be clean.
Everyone knew that you could see the outside of a cup but could not tell if the cup was clean unless you looked on the inside. As we go about our day, I hope and pray that we take a good look at the inside. We begin to reveal God's love to the world through a purified heart. Once we apply Jesus into our lives, we will watch as the crud is broken away and our true self will be revealed. It is not going to be easy, and I know that we have all tried so many different things to help us find the answer. But just like with me and the Krud Kutter, we have to realize that Jesus is the only answer we need to seek. God has an amazing plan for all of us, but we have to be willing to get rid of the junk that is trapped inside. We want God to consume us from the inside out. I promise that once the inside is filled with God's grace, mercy and love, we will begin to see the outside of our personal lives and the world we encounter change. It starts with allowing Jesus in. When we allow God in... watch out world!!