A Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table . . . Then the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.” – Luke 11:37ff
One day, Jesus is walking along, teaching a crowd of people about prayer, Beelzebub, driving out demons and the sign of Jonah, who lived inside a fish for three days. You know, the basics of the faith. Then a Pharisee invites Jesus to eat at his house, so Jesus goes and has a nice lunch, but when He doesn’t wash before the meal the way custom instructed, the Pharisee gets religious with the creator of the universe.
In response to this Pharisee and his concern for traditions over God’s mercy, Jesus tells him and his friends they are filthy cups and fools who are headed towards God’s judgment for the way they chose tradition over relationship. This is the famous passage where Jesus pronounces His “Six Woes” upon the Pharisees and scribes.
It occurred to me that Jesus is actually condemning those who were feeding Him lunch. After accepting an invitation to eat in someone’s home, Jesus turns on the one who fed Him. In appears that Jesus wasn’t afraid to tell the truth to those who were hosting Him. Could pastors (me included) learn a lesson from this?
How often have pastors been afraid to address certain church issues in fear of offending the generous giver and losing their financial support? Are we, in this manner, placing tithes over truth?