But rather give alms of such things as you have; then indeed all things are clean to you. Luke 11:41
In Today’s scripture passage, Jesus is having dinner at a Pharisee’s house where the Pharisee noticed that Jesus did not perform a ritualistic hand washing before eating. Jesus answered with a list of “woes” that were actually warnings to the entire group of Pharisee’s and lawyers that were there. When He finished talking to them, you could probably assume He wasn’t invited back for dinner again. In fact, the end of this passage says that from that point on, they were looking for reasons to accuse Him.
His list of complaints against the group included:
- They made the outside of the cup and dish clean,
but their inward part is full of greed and wickedness.
- They tithed mint and rue and all manner of herbs,
and pass by justice and the love of God.
- They loved the best seats in the synagogues
and greetings in the marketplaces.
- They were like graves which are not seen,
and the men who walk over them are not aware of them.”
- They loaded men with burdens hard to bear,
and they do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.
- They built the tombs of the prophets, and their fathers killed them.
Interestingly, as He listed off these offenses, He said two different times that giving would bring cleansing. He implied that people’s purse strings/wallet are attached to their heart and when they gave freely, they were showing the pureness of their motives and that people are more important than money. In the case of the Pharisee’s, He said they were greedy, wicked, lacking in the love of God, selfish, prideful, and dead on the inside. He gave them the remedy and it isn’t the first time that He gave this prescription. He said that giving alms/resources would make them clean and by giving the love of God to others they would be showing justice.
Giving was the answer to the Pharisee’s unclean intentions back then and it is the same for us today and it is meant for all areas of your life. It is not just of your money and resources but it is also your love and kindness. All in all, giving shows what is on the inside. If you give generously of all areas of your life, your heart is pure and honest, free of suspicion and judgment. You give because of who you are as a child of God not because of who the receiver is. Yes, you give to help the poor, but your main motive is love. Simply put: Giving is loving.
Today I want to encourage you to purge out every unclean thing in your heart by giving. Attach your wallet and everything else most precious to you to God and His purpose. Don’t corrupt your inward person by hanging on to what God meant for loving someone else. Instead, commit all you are and all you have to His eternal purpose. Begin to build God’s kingdom with all that is within you and with all you possess. Make your resources and love count in this life and the next. You have been given the answer and the power to purge out the uncleanness in your life and that answer is in giving as a child of God for His whole family’s kingdom.
Today’s scripture reading: Luke 11:37-54
37 And as He spoke, a certain Pharisee asked Him to dine with him. So He went in and sat down to eat.
38 When the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that He had not first washed before dinner.
39 Then the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness.
40 Foolish ones! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also?
41 But rather give alms of such things as you have; then indeed all things are clean to you.
42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.
43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.
44 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like graves which are not seen, and the men who walk over them are not aware of them.”
45 Then one of the lawyers answered and said to Him, “Teacher, by saying these things You reproach us also.”
46 And He said, “Woe to you also, lawyers! For you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.
47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.
48 In fact, you bear witness that you approve the deeds of your fathers; for they indeed killed them, and you build their tombs.
49 Therefore the wisdom of God also said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,’
50 that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation,
51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.
52 “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.”
53 And as He said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross-examine Him about many things,
54 lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch Him in something He might say, that they might accuse Him.