Clean the Whole Cup | Luke 11:37-44

Clean the Whole Cup | Luke 11:37-44

Introduction

Luke 11:37-44 ESV  While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table.  (38)  The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner.  (39)  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.  (40)  You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also?  (41)  But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you.  (42)  “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.  (43)  Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.  (44)  Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.”

  • Y’all, I HATE DIRTY DISHES.
    • I mean… like to the CORE of my being, I hate dirty dishes.
    • I don’t like seeing them, I don’t like touching them… and I certainly don’t like doing the dishes.
    • It grosses me out something awful, y’all.
  • And the one thing I hate more than dirty dishes… dishes that appear clean, but are actually dirty.
    • You know the ones I am talking about, they have been through the dishwasher, they have been put away… but under close examination there is a tiny fleck of old food baked on there… ARGHHHHHHHHH!
    • I am like OCD about it or something, I check all of my silverware by sight and by touch… because sometimes you can feel the speck, but you can’t see it.
    • If I even have a hint of suspicion a dish, bowl, plate, cup, spoon, fork… whatever… if I even suspect that just maybe it isn’t perfectly clean… then I through it straight away into the sink!
  • I hate dirty dishes like God hates sin… He doesn’t want a speck of sin on us, He want’s us to be perfect and pure and clean…
    • Hallelujah He sent the best spiritual dish washer to cleanse us…
    • What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray

  • So we have this passage, this scathing rebuke of the Pharasees, and this discussion about a cup… the inside and the outside… and cleanleness…
    • And I am so happy to be able to preach this sermon this morning…
    • Because we have spent a lot of time talking about obeying God, and His Word…
      • And the tendency might be for us to become like the pharisees… focusing on obedience and ignoring love.
    • But today Jesus reminds us, it’s all about love and Justice… it’s all about love and Justice, without love, what are we doing church?
      • We are becoming like these pharisees.
  • So, to todays scripture.
    • Jesus sits down to have dinner with some Pharisees and some Lawyers.
    • But before eating Jesus doesn’t do the ceremonial hand washing!
      • Now, before you get upset and start calling Jesus a sinner, it is important to note that the Bible never commands the washing of hands before eating.
      • This was a law the Jewish church had added on top of God’s word.
      • It was not God’s command, but the religious leaders command.
    • So Jesus did not sin when deciding to not wash His hands, instead what He was going to do was make a point.
  • The Pharisees where shocked that Jesus broke ceremonial law… to them the Church’s law was just as important as God’s law…
    • Never ever make that mistake, church, God’s Word is all that is important… not the Church’s word. My job is to teach God’s Word, not add to it.
    • When you start trusting the church’s word over God’s Word, you have made an idol…
  • And Jesus was about to knock down the idol the Pharisees have made of the church.
  • He says “You guy’s do a great job of looking holy, on the outside you look really clean, but the inside of you is filthy! Full of greed and wickedness!”
  • He says “You clean the outside of a cup, but the inside is filthy! Yuck”
    • Now, which would you rather drink from, a cup that is dirty on the outside, or a cup that is dirty on the inside?
    • A lot of people answer, well a cup that is dirty on the outside, of course… I don’t want my drink contaminated with filth.
  • But for me that is the wrong answer… for me, the answer is “NEITHER!” I am not drinking from a dirty cup, period… I don’t care where it is dirty! I CHOSE TO DIE OF THIRST!
  • But I have heard this preached this way so many times… clean the inside of the cup! That’s what is important…
    • NO! That’s not what Jesus says to do…

Bring Up Title Slide

  • CLEAN THE WHOLE CUP Y’ALL! ALL OF IT! DON’T BE GIVEN ME NO DIRTY CUP! CLEAN THE WHOLE CUP INSIDE AND OUT!

Luke 11:40-41 ESV  You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also?  (41)  But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you.

  • EVERYTHING IS CLEAN! That’s what Jesus want’s, the whole cup clean, the whole person clean, inside in out. Everything!

Point One – God Cleans From The Inside Out

  • Point One this morning, God cleans from the inside out!

Luke 11:39-43 ESV  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.  (40)  You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also?  (41)  But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you.  (42)  “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. (43) Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.

  • You see the Pharisees have it backward! They strive to obey the law not because they love people, but because they want the attention!
    • They want to be thought of as holy, they want to be thought of as close to God.
    • In Judaism there is a ranking order to the seats in the church, the more you gave, the more you served, the better seat you got.
    • The people who sat in front were the people who were deemed the most holy.
      • In American churches it’s not that way… instead we have titles.
      • That’s what people strive after.
      • “If I could just be a deacon”
      • “If I could just be an elder”
      • “If I was a PASTOR or a BISHOP then people would respect me! Then they would know how holy I really am!”
  • WHAT NONSENSE!
    • Y’all I have seen time and time again people to strive after a title only to fall into sin…
  • Do you know what my title means? Do you know what the title Pastor means?
    • Absolutely nothing! In light of eternity it doesn’t mean a thing.
    • I won’t be Pastor Christian in heaven… I will just be Christian.
    • There will be no Elder Jay and Elder Moses in heaven, just Jay and Moses, Amanda and Shana and Teresa…
    • No titles, just love eternally.
  • And guys the reason I am a pastor is not because I wanted to be a pastor, can I tell you the truth? I didn’t want to be a pastor! NOT AT ALL!           
    • I wanted to be a Police Officer who did MMA cage fights on the side… that’s what I trained for… now look at me, I am soft!
  • I became a pastor for two reasons, because I love God and I love people.
    • Because God called me to the pastorate, so I obeyed Him, and because I love people and want to see people blessed, and happy, and joyful, and free of the snares of sin and the enemy.
    • Because I want to worship God forever alongside my friends and family.
    • Because I don’t want anyone to go to hell.
  • I didn’t become a pastor because I wanted honor and respect… I became a pastor because I love people.
    • But God didn’t call me to that… God called me to Iowa were I didn’t know anybody… He called me to Cedar Rapids and said “Love this town and love these people”.
  • Y’all I don’t strive to stop sinning because I want to look holy…
    • I don’t strive to stop sinning because I love myself… No, the Bible says die to yourself!
    • I strive to stop sinning, to live a sinfree life, because I love you and I love God.
  • Because I don’t want to do anything that separates me from God…
    • And because I don’t want to do anything that might be a stumbling block for you!

Isaiah 59:2 ESV  but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

  • Y’all, have you tasted the love of God?
    • Do you know what it is like to be in the arms of the Savior?
    • If you know what it is like to feel God’s love can I hear you shout amen this morning?
  • Those of you who shouted amen, do you ever want to be away from that love?
    • NO! Of course not!
  • So because I love God, and because sin separates me from God, I don’t want to sin anymore…
    • That’s how God cleans the cup from the inside out.
    • Let me say it again…
    • Because I love God, and because my sin separates me from God, I don’t want to sin anymore… That is how God cleans the cup from the inside out…
    • It is God’s kindness, and love, and mercy, and goodness that leads me to repentance.
    • Because I want to be enveloped by that love and mercy and goodness and kindness, because I want to drown in the love of God… that’s what leads me to want to live Holy!

Romans 2:4 ESV  Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

  • Look, church, you can spend your whole life trying to be perfect, trying to be sin free, trying to do all the right things… and you can do that all never experiencing the love of God…
    • Cleaning the outside of the cup, but ignoring the inside of the cup.
  • Or you can experience the love of God, and let it flow through you, and let it change you… and in doing so, in inviting the true love of God into your heart… and with it His patient justice…
    • If you do so, then the Helper, the Holy Spirit, will help you with the outside, the outward facing sin…
    • God doesn’t just clean the inside… He cleans the whole cup… but it has to start from the inside… is has to start from in here. *Point to self*

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 ESV  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  (2)  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  (3)  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

  • It is pointless to focus on the outside… the way you pray, or prophecy, or work miracles… the way you serve, and the way you give… it is pointless without love! It is worthless!
  • So again, this morning there are two reasons that I don’t want to sin, and both steam from God’s love and justice inside of me…
  • The two reasons are:
    • Because I don’t want to do anything that separates me from God…
    • And because I don’t want to do anything that might be a stumbling block for you!
  • And that brings me to point two… the stumbling block point…
  • Point two this morning: A clean outside, but dirty inside, serves only to spread filth to others…

Point Two – A Clean Outside, But Dirty Inside, Serves Only To Spread Filth To Others

Luke 11:44 ESV   Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.”

  • Have you ever had an experience like this… I warn you, this example is the stuff of nightmares…
    • Have you ever had an experience like this… your wife brings you a bowl of cereal… fresh cheerios and cold milk with a bit of sugar sprinkled on top, the best!
    • And as you are enjoying your lovely bowl of cereal, downing bite after bite, you notice your spoon catch on something in the bowl… something hard…
    • You stop, and examine… SHOCK! HORROR! There is a black bean from the taco rice you had three nights ago baked onto the bowl!
      • GAG! My wife just gave me a bowl of cereal in a dish that looked clean but was really dirty! UGHHH!
      • That is an unfortunately true story, *Shiver*, I have since forgiven Amanda, it wasn’t easy, but with God all things are possible…
  • This is what Jesus is talking about when He talks about unmarked graves.

Luke 11:44 ESV  Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.”

  • You see, under Jewish law, walking over a grave makes you unclean…
    • Jesus is saying… you are like a grave grown over by grass, no one can tell there is a grave there so they walk over it not even knowing that they have become unclean!
  • Galatians puts it this way…

Galatians 5:9 ESV  A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

  • If you put a little bit of yeast into a lump of dough, the whole lump will rise…
    • And if you put a little bit of sin into a group of people the whole group will get infected by that sin.
  • But what’s more… the sin of the pharisees, just like any other sin, spreads… but because they “LOOK” holy, people don’t even realize their sin has spread to them.
  • And please understand, there IS sin here… and the sin is not legalism… as some say.
    • The sin is not that they try to follow the law…
    • The sin is all the laws they break in the process!

Luke 11:42 ESV  “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.

  • Jesus talks to them about tithing, which is basic black and white law.
    • He says look… I see that you tithe your goods… But you neglect other laws, laws that tell you to love others and to be just… to shine your light before men, to allow others to see the Love and Justice of God in you!
    • But notice that Jesus does not rebuke them for following the law, Jesus does not call them legalistic at all…
    • To the contrary He encourages them for following the law.
  • He says “You do well in tithing… but you should not neglect love and justice.”
  • Jesus says “YOU SHOULD BE DOING BOTH! THE WHOLE LAW OF GOD, INCLUDING… STARTING WITH EVEN, THE LOVE OF GOD!

Conclusion

  • I want to conclude by talking about the law of love…

Matthew 22:36-40 ESV  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  (37)  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  (38)  This is the great and first commandment.  (39)  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  (40)  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

  • Every one of the 10 commandments can be summed up by these two laws, therefore if you follow this two laws… that is, focus on the inside of you, clean the inside of the cup, then the outside… the 10 commandments and all the other laws… they naturally will be clean… watch…
    • If you love God you will naturally follow the first 4 commandments…
      • You won’t have any god’s before Him, because you love Him.
      • You won’t bow down to any false idols… because you love God.
      • If you love God you naturally wont want to use His name as a cuss word, you naturally won’t use His name in vain.
      • And if you love Him you will obviously want to set aside time, a sabbath, to be with him and rest with Him.
    • So if you love God those 1st four commandments come easy.
      • And if you love others the last six come naturally as well.
        • I mean, how can you both love your neighbor and murder him?
        • Or love your neighbor and steal from her?
        • Or love your neighbors and lie to them?
      • You can’t…
    • Focus on the inside… the outside will get clean.
  • ALTAR CALL

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