Matthew 23:27-28 (NIV)
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
Good at looking the part
What motivates you to do what you do?
When no one is watching and no one is there to force you to do anything, what keeps you working towards your goals?
Your why matters.
The teachers of the law and the Pharisees Jesus is talking to were very devoted to the law, they were probably more disciplined than most, and they took it seriously when others didn’t.
But as Jesus points out, the reason behind all of it was wrong.
Their motivation, their why, was fueled by sinful desires.
They cared more about looking the part then authentically following, obeying, and loving God.
For them, it was more about people looking at them and saying wow they are super spiritual even if on the inside their hearts were filled with a desire for human approval and earthly status.
Jesus tells them that on the outside they look good. They’ve done a good job of looking the part. But on the inside they were dead. They were spiritually dead men working hard to look alive.
You are only fooling yourself
Galatians 6:7 (NIV) Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
Jesus confronted the religious leaders about their motive for doing what they did. He told them that the reason they did what they did was that they loved the places of honor being seated and important seats (Matthew 23:6).
Their lives and actions resembled that of someone who wanted to live a life devoted to God but the only ones they were fooling were themselves and some of the people around them. But God could see right through their actions deep into their hearts and see what their true motivations were.
Are you guilty of this?
Have you been living for the approval of others?
Is looking the part what motivates you?
I hope it’s not. I hope you are not settling for a shallow or non-existent relationship with Jesus. You can’t fool Him. He can see past your actions and straight to your heart and He can see what motivates you.
Do more than just look the part
John 10:10 (NIV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Don’t let your Christianity be an outward expression of your inner desire to please people.
Your Christianity needs to be an expression of a deep love for Jesus.
Jesus came so that you could do more than just look the part.
He came so that you could have life to the full.
Real life from the inside out.