From the one year bible: Luke 11:39-41 – Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? But give what is inside the dish to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.
Confession…doing dishes is one of my least favorite chores. I somehow always manage to get water on the floor leaving me with wet socks. I don’t like the smell of dishwater and I don’t like the feeling of pruned hands. It’s just an unpleasant job.
But when I do clean dishes, I make sure of one thing..the inside of a dish will be clean. That is what is important. If the inside of a dish is clean, then the whole dish is clean because the inside is what holds the food or drink.
Jesus scolds the Pharisees because they are concerned with keeping the outside clean but do nothing to guard the inside. In truth, they cannot do anything about the uncleanliness inside, Jesus himself is our dishwasher, cleansing us from the inside out through the cross.
Notice that Jesus never implies that we could clean our own dish. He says that “everything will be clean for you“. Jesus will clean everything for us. But the Pharisees are concerned about being contaminated from the outside in. They are concerned because Jesus did not wash before he ate. This was not a concern about sanitation or germs, it was a concern about spiritual contamination.
Jesus had just spent time with the crowds, whom we can assume were the sinners, the poor, the tax collectors, etc. These people were considered unclean and by spending time with them, it was believed that a righteous person could contaminated from the outside in.
Jesus gives us insight for how we can stay clean in any environment. “But give what is inside the dish to the poor, and everything will be clean for you”. The secret for staying clean is to give! In other words, keep flowing from the inside outward. Don’t feed the inside with what is outside!
The pipes that bring freshwater into a house are laid through mud and dirt, yet as long as the water is under constant pressure from the source, it is impossible for the water the be contaminated. The pipes can have cracks and leaks, but dirt will never contaminate the water inside as long as a pressure is maintained from the source.
So with us as worship leaders, if we ensure that we have a constant source of God’s love, His Spirit, and His power flowing to us and through us, it is impossible for anything unclean to come in and penetrate us. We must constantly receive and give. And one of the best ways to practice this style of living is to worship. In worship we receive from God and we give back to Him. And when we live in this constant worship and love to others, everything will be clean for us.