“‘Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness...’ While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table. The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner. And the Lord said to him, ‘Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also?..
“’But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.’
“One of the lawyers answered him, ‘Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also.’ And he said, ‘Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed. So you are witnesses and you consent to the deeds of your fathers… Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, “I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,” so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation… Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation. Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.’” Luke 11:34-35,37-40,42-52
Jesus knew what was in a man. He warns about what we expose our eyes to, whether we allow in darkness or light, then proceeds to declare what He, the all-seeing Son of God, sees. No pride, hypocrisy, deceit, untoward affection- nothing is hidden from His omniscient eye. (Luke 12:2-3; John 2:25)
His words uncover unseen ugly attitudes behind outward actions. On the surface these Pharisees looked pretty good: generous, disciplined, tidy top performers. But the living Word discloses what simmers behind their veneer: greed, injustice, cruelty, prejudice, spiritual rebellion, false honor. (Hebrews 4:12)
What do we work hard to hide about our interior? Where have our attempts to blind others to our tidily-tamped down inner sins actually blinded us to their poisonous effects, in our souls, our relationships, our worldview? How is bitterness, hatred, or a cold heart affecting our behavior, causing us to manipulate with carefully chosen deceit in word and deed? Who do we think we are fooling?
The wondrous truth about our Savior is that He died for all He sees. When His Spirit convicts of what we’ve attempted to conceal, He is near to hear our genuine confession and forgive. Would we come to Him and live- unburdened, clean, free?
“Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23-24)
“Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)