Wow To The Filthy Inward Cups: Matthew 23:25-26
““25) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26) You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.” Matthew‬ ‭23‬:‭25‬-‭26‬
This woe exposes the weakness of the Law itself. It was good at making the outside look good, but it did nothing to cleanse and change the human heart. The inside was still sinful and dirty. Conforming to outward legalism does not affect the inward greed, lust and self-indulgence.
Paul touched on this inherent weakness of the Law in Galatians 3:21-22; “21) Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. 22) But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.”
The problem was that the outward Law could not impart new life to the inward spirit of man. It made the outward look good, but the inward was untouched.
This woe that Jesus pronounced on the Pharisees was the first exposure of this principle. They tried desperately to arrive at self righteousness through the Law but could not change their own human nature. They were religious but lost.
They looked like clean cups outwardly, but inwardly they were full of robbery and self indulgence. You can wash the outside of a pig and dress it in a tuxedo, but inwardly, it is still a pig. The outward bath and nice suit does nothing to change the inside nature of a pig.
So it was with the Pharisees and the Law. They conformed outwardly, but inwardly they were a mess. Rigid legalism does nothing to cleanse the inside of the cup. Jesus exposed the inward filth of the human heart.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global