Jesus looked on the scribes and Pharisees and admonished them: “Ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. . . . cleanse first that which is within . . . that the outside of them may be clean also. . . . Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity”
(Matthew 23:25-28 KJV).
The Pharisees dressed in such a way that they might look righteous and holy before the people. Jesus knew their hearts and instructed them to “cleanse first” the inward man. Far more important than the type of clothing is the condition of heart before God. Some people today do as the self-righteous Pharisees of yesterday. They not only seek for justification through their good works and modest clothing but they glory in it. Jesus taught that it was not the outward things that defile a man but the things which “come forth from the heart” (Matthew 15:17-20). If the heart is not right with God, all outward standards and works will be in vain. An outward standard to hide unrighteousness in the heart is hypocrisy.Read more