Lesson from a watermelon


Reflections

It has always been interesting to me that the folks Jesus had the most trouble with were religious people. Religion is and always has been an enemy of the gospel. Religion is spelled DO, and the gospel of Christ is spelled DONE! Well, that was always the problem with the Pharisees. They were obsessed with the outward actions that they were so well known for. They made a big deal of the traditions that they observed, yet did they care for the poor? No. Did they reach out to sinners who desperately needed the love of God? No. Jesus called them out on this. In Mark 7, they are all up in arms about the fact that the disciples of Jesus did not wash hands according to the ritual that THEY (not God) deemed important.

Jesus put his finger on the matter in verse 6: Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. They were far more interested in their silly rules, than any human heart that they encountered. Jesus went on in verse 8: For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men. The problem is, they had clean hands but not a clean heart.

When God measures a man, He puts the tape around the heart.

In church last Sunday, during the sermon, I cut open a watermelon to illustrate this passage. I love watermelon, but it has always been hard for me to buy one that is perfectly ripe. I know, I know, right now you are thinking of all the “tricks” you have for finding the perfect one. But I have not yet found the one that works for me. When I get them home, they are either over-ripe, mushy, and inedible, or they still taste “greenish.”

But here is the thing – they all look the same on the outside. The liars. Can you agree with me, that, when it comes to watermelon, it is what is on the inside that counts? I really don’t care if it looks nice and shiny and green on the outside, if the inside is no good. Likewise, I don’t care if it is ugly and has mud on it, as long as it is sweet on the inside!

There is a lesson there. Much the same is true in the eyes of God. The Pharisees looked good, they were all shiny and polished – on the outside.

But inside they were “full of dead men’s bones” Matthew 23:27. This manifested in a mean spirit. What is in the well will always come up in the bucket.

Let us never confuse a list of meaningless traditions of men for true spirituality. Do you know God in a personal way? Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your savior? Are you living for him? Be the real deal, from the inside out.

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