But the Master said to him, “I know you Pharisees burnish the surface of your cups and plates so they sparkle in the sun, but I also know your insides are maggoty with greed and secret evil. Stupid Pharisees! Didn’t the One who made the outside also make the inside? Turn both your pockets and your hearts inside out and give generously to the poor; then your lives will be clean, not just your dishes and your handsLuke 11:39-41.
Jesus was quite clear about what was important behavior. He came to help us understand and complete the Law by rising above simple rule following behavior. This little vignette is an example. Ritual washing before meals--and by extension all religious practices and religion itself--were meaningless and without power if a person's spirit was not aligned with the Spirit of the Divine.
In modern theological terms, we would say that orthodoxy without orthopraxis is essentially meaningless. No amount of "right thinking" makes up for a lack of
right living." In fact, the only purpose of right thinking is to lead to right living. "Blessed are those who hear the word of God and do it!"
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