About a year ago my washing machine quit working, so I had to get a different one. I really like the one I purchased because it holds more clothes but also it rings most of the water out of the clothes during the rinse cycle, almost to the point that they appear dry.
The other day I washed clothes and went to put them in the dryer when I noticed that they appeared almost too dry, so I smelled some of the socks and realized they hadn’t been washed at all.
It turns out my wife had opened the door of the washing machine before it started, to put something more in after I had programmed it, which stopped the wash cycle.
This reminded me of how it is with some people. On the outside they may appear to be a Christian but in reality they are not. Jesus said this is how it was with the religious leaders of his day – they appeared clean on the outside but on the inside they were still dirty.
There are those who think that they can get cleaned up spiritually by trying to stop doing some bad things and by starting to do some good things. In other words they try to clean their own lives up.
Jesus told those religious leaders in Matthew 23:26 to “first clean the inside and then the outside will be clean.” The heart has to be changed before God looks at us as clean.
There is only one way to truly be made clean. Scripture makes it very clear that what makes us dirty is a sin problem and the only way to get clean is to deal with that sin problem.
The only way to deal with the sin problem is to allow Jesus to come into our lives and clean us up. The good news is Jesus can and will clean us up if we will come to him, confess our sins and choose to follow him.