The Pharisees strained their water so they wouldn’t accidentally swallow a gnat—an unclean insect according to the Law. Meticulous about the details of ceremonial cleanliness, they nevertheless had lost their perspective on inner purity. Ceremonially clean on the outside, they had corrupt hearts. It’s possible to obey the details of the laws but still be disobedient in our general behavior. Jesus condemned the Pharisees and religious leaders for outwardly appearing saintly and holy but inwardly remaining full of corruption and greed.

Living our Christianity merely as a show for others is like washing a cup on the outside only. When we are clean on the inside, our cleanliness on the outside won’t be a sham.

One Year with Jesus