There is a treasure hunt happening somewhere in western United States. The man who hid the treasure has been putting out clues on occasion to help people hunt for the treasure. This morning, he was on the Today Show to reveal a new clue to the location of the treasure. So, as many people sat on the edge of their seats and tuned in to hear the clue, he simply said, "The treasure is not in a graveyard." I can't help but wonder what the reaction was to the many people who have been spending time studying the clues and scouring the mountains to find the treasure. Were they elated because it helped redirect them, or were they disappointed in the clue because it didn't seem to do anything for them except to tell them where not to look? But I laughed when I heard the clue because it fit so perfectly with the verses I am looking at this morning! Please use the link and read Matthew 23:25-28.
These verses are a part of an entire chapter where Jesus was giving warnings against the teachers of the law and the Pharisees. In these words of Jesus, we see Him explaining a few reasons why He called them hypocrites. Jesus used some interesting objects to explain the importance of having our hearts in the right place. First, He used a housekeeping item: dish washing. You have to admit, this is something we can all relate to. Jesus explained that it was more important to have the inside of the dish clean rather than the outside. After all, who wants to put the food we are going to eat in a dirty dish. Who cares if the dish is clean on the outside, I'm more concerned that the part the food will be touching is clean! Jesus points out that if we take the time to clean the inside, the outside will get cleaned. When we focus on making our hearts right, we don't need to worry about appearances - all of those things will fall into place.
Then He used an analogy of a white-washed tomb. He explained that how the tomb looked on the outside didn't matter because the inside of the tomb was full of dead bones. Jesus continued on to let us know that is what our hearts are like when we focus only on how righteous we appear rather than truly living righteousness. It makes me think that when we focus only on appearances (looking holy) it is like hunting for heavenly treasures in a graveyard. The problem with that is that God is the God of the living (Matthew 22:32) and He doesn't put His treasure in a graveyard. If we are lingering in the graveyard, our hearts will reflect those dead bones. But if we are treasure hunting in the Bible, which is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12), our hearts will be thriving and growing. The treasure is not found in appearances, it is found in God.
Where are you treasure hunting?
This post is linked with Faith Filled Friday.