Neither White-washed Nor Unmarked

When I was 10 years old my father decided to dig a full basement out from under our house. In one corner he pointed out to me a change in the pattern of the packed earth that formed the wall. "Notice how this part is all layered," he said, "while the earth right next to it is not? This may be an old Indian grave." I was filled with amazement. Our house might have been built on top of a dead man's bones!

Two warnings Jesus made about the Pharisees seem contradictory at first. He says they are like white-washed tombs (Matt. 23:27-28). The beauty of their external lives are only a facade for the ugly corruption within. He says they are also "like unmarked graves which men walk over without knowing it"(Luke 11:44). How could the same person be like an unmarked grave and like one so well marked that no one could miss it?

In comparing them to white-washed tombs, Jesus describes their hypocrisy. Their hidden intentions do not match the beautiful things they do. If one could, like Jesus, see the inside as well as the outside, he or she would be repelled by the horrible inconsistency.

Comparing them with unmarked graves describes their unnoticed influence. Dedicated Jews were scrupulous about avoiding graves for fear that they might touch a human bone and defile themselves (see Num. 19:11-13). Jesus was saying that people defiled themselves whenever they got around the hypocritical Pharisees. And the worst part of it was that they didn't even realize they were being defiled. They thought the Pharisees would bring them closer to God.

We must watch our own lives, constantly comparing our actions with our attitudes. Would we be willing for our intentions to be as obvious as the good things we do? Do we draw people closer to God by their association with us, or do we defile them?

The new owners of that house do not know about the possible Native American grave in the basement. It's probably just as well. It might give them the chilly willies.

Steve Singleton has written and edited several books and numerous articles on subjects of interest to Bible students. He has taught Greek, Bible, and religious studies courses Bible college, university, and adult education programs. He has taught seminars and workshops in 11 states and the Caribbean.

Go to his DeeperStudy.com for Bible study resources, no matter what your level of expertise. Explore "The Shallows," plumb "The Depths," or use the well-organized "Study Links" for original sources in English translation. Sign up for Steve's free "DeeperStudy Newsletter."

In The News:


pen paper and inkwell


cat break through


Terminal Diagnosis and Putting Our House in Order

In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the... Read More

Pursuing Your Destiny

During my childhood days, I disliked Lenten season because radio... Read More

Using Psalm 23 as Spiritual Affirmation

INTRODUCTIONSpiritual affirmations are positive, statements of intention, that facilitate manifestation.... Read More

Choosing Peace, One Shift at a Time

It doesn't matter what magazine or newspaper you pick up... Read More

Law to the Nth Degree

Most of us know that the universe - God's universe... Read More

Why Worry

The possibility of almost 400 Old Testament prophesies coming to... Read More

DREAMS, Does God Still Use Them Today?

The bible has many accounts throughout time that He used... Read More

How to be Led by the Spirit of God

The Bible tells us that we need to be led... Read More

When Goliath Comes

One does not have to live long to realize that... Read More

Miracles

It is my personal view that the reason we call... Read More

Email From God - Or, How Such Big Ideas Get Into Such Little Hands

It happens to us all from time to time, especially... Read More

Anamchara - Meeting With The Master

His name sounds as Finn. He has beautiful blue eyes... Read More

Surrounded By His Glory

As communion was being passed this morning, I listened to... Read More

Salvation: The Divine Imperative

Of the many individuals who were touched through the ministry... Read More

Shamanism

Shamanism is an ancient form of mysticism. Although... Read More

Jesus The Great Comforter! When Life is not fair!

We see it all the time in people's lives some... Read More

Acknowledging Emotions and Feelings

We'll begin with a question:What is a moral?I'd say it's... Read More

Amazing Faith

Last week, I sat at my computer and watched the... Read More

Living Powerfully in the Present Moment

The time we spend on earth is very short when... Read More

You Lookin At Me?

It's human nature to point a finger when we think... Read More

The Gratitude Toll

I very often see rants, complaints, wishes and dreams that... Read More

Slow Leak

In God's world, everything can be used as an anology... Read More

Mankinds Ten Worst Enemies: #2 Arrogance

According to H. G. Bosch, the newspaper cartoonist H. T.... Read More

How Old Are You?

Some of us might hear from time to time that... Read More

The Gods Of Our Planet Earth

Remember me! It's me! Joseph here in touch with you... Read More

Understanding the Gospel of Matthew and Why it Matters - Part 2

Matthew 1:1-17The Genealogy of Jesus Christ1 The book of the... Read More

Is the Church a Friend to Survivors of Abuse?

After 6 years, I left an abusive relationship with an... Read More

Actualizing Personal Truth

Self-actualization comes down to three basic premises: this is who... Read More

Instructions... Guess Work or Gods Work?

I can't boast about my culinary skill, because I just... Read More

Are you Addicted to ?NO?? Locating the YES! of the Heart

It seems to me that our moment to moment relationship... Read More

Remote Viewing and the Body-Mind Connection

One of the biggest myths to evolve in the growing... Read More

The Trust We Must Have to Manifest What We Truly Desire

Some of my greatest teachers have taught me that faith... Read More

Jesus: The Greatest Scapegoat

It seems more people today are using the Christian god... Read More