So much takes place around a dinner table – conversation, laughter, relationships are forged, and then of course, the eating of good food.
We often find Jesus gathered around a table for a meal. Sometimes it was an intimate time with the disciples. On other occasions, He was found eating with the Pharisees.
On one occasion, Jesus sat down to the table without the usual hand washing. The Pharisees had developed quite an extensive washing ritual, so to sit down without washing would not go unnoticed. As the host displayed his amazement, Jesus addresses them:
“Fools! Didn’t God make the inside as well as the outside?”
(Luke 11:40, NLT)
Jesus addressed the fact that while they carefully washed the outside of cups and utensils, they often left the inside filthy.
Jesus used this analogy to indicate that while from appearances they followed the Law, they did not keep that which was unseen – their hearts – free of sin.
The Pharisees tried so hard to separate themselves from anything thought to be impure. But they failed to see the impurities within.
Greed had entered their hearts, preventing them from giving to the poor with the love and generosity of God. He further instructs them:
“So clean the inside by giving gifts to the poor, and you will be clean all over.” (verse 41)
Jesus wanted them to look at the condition of their hearts so they would give freely, out of a heart of love …
“Acts of love reveal internal righteousness.” (NLT Study Bible)
We are to look at what lies hidden inside of us as well, lurking and polluting our hearts. Are we generous with the gifts God has given to us?
We can be givers of our money, yes, but also of … our time, our love, our compassion, our food, our home, our words, and our comfort.
“You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
(2 Corinthians 9:7, NLT)
May our giving be prompted from pure hearts and motives. It is the spirit of giving that counts most with God.
God is the greatest Giver of all
desires for us to become great at giving.
This is Day 21 of 31 Questions Jesus Asked. You can find the entire series here.