Outward Beauty, Inward Gore

16 10 2021

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” (Matthew 23:27-28)

What a dire warning from the Lord. This statement of woe to the religious leaders compared them to caves. In the first century caves were used for shelter by travelers as well as graves for the dead.

They would mark them with chalk in order to let priests and Levites know that the caves were corrupted so they didn’t defile themselves. Over time the markings would be washed off mostly due to the winter weather and need to be marked again. For a time they looked beautiful and people wouldn’t realize they were full of corruption.

In like manner these men looked good and righteous on the outside but on the inside they were dead, and corrupted. The warning applies to us in a very real way. It’s easy to fix the outside and to appear righteous. It’s easy to polish our behavior and appear to others that we are good Christians only to be lost.

The outside looks good but in our hearts we are dead in trespasses and sins far from the life of God. I believe a great many in our churches are in this condition. They have an outward show of Christianity but they do not truly know God. These men were cast out of the kingdom of God as will be all in this age who only appear righteous but whose Christianity is only skin deep.

This brings to mind another admonition from our Lord.

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23)



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