What Jesus Did! 'Take a Look Inside!' — Luke 11:37-41

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

As Jesus was speaking, one of the Pharisees invited him home for a meal. So he went in and took his place at the table. His host was amazed to see that he sat down to eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony required by Jewish custom. Then the Lord said to him, "You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy — full of greed and wickedness! Fools! Didn't God make the inside as well as the outside? So clean the inside by giving gifts to the poor, and you will be clean all over."
— Luke 11:37-41 NLT

Key Thought

In the previous verses, [1] Jesus warned that what we assume as light in us can actually be darkness. Then, he warned the people who had invited him over for a meal that they should take a look inside themselves. They were spending a great deal of time, energy, and worry over being clean outside. While being clean outside was good, the bigger issue was on the inside — whether their hearts were clean. Knowing them and their values, Jesus challenged them to do something that would reveal just who they really were, inside and out. He spoke to their greed. While they may have looked religious and righteous on the outside, he knew that greed was consuming them on the inside. In our age, Jesus' challenge still stands — take a look on the inside. And the monster on the inside for a lot of us today is still the same: greed.

[1] Luke 11:34-36.

Today's Prayer

Father, forgive me for my greed. I know that many of your children live with joy in the midst of poverty. I know many of them are far more generous than I am. Open my heart and cleanse me through and through. Make me more generous with others, just as you have been generous with me. Thank you for all of my blessings, in Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Isaiah 56:11
  • Luke 12:15
  • Ephesians 5:5


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Illustration of Luke 11:37-41 NLT — "You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy — full of greed and wickedness!"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.