“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.” (Matthew 23:25)
There is a cure for the deep roots of the Pharisees. In Luke 11:41, Jesus reminds us: “Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you” (cf Luke 11:41)
Not convinced? Check out these three verses:
Daniel 4:27 Nebuchadnezzar comes to Daniel seeking a solution for his past sins. What does Daniel say? “Pay off the debt you owe for your sins through charity toward the poor” (cf. Daniel 4:27).
- Proverbs 10:2 “Money shall profit nothing: but almsgiving shall deliver from death.”
- Acts 9:36-43 Tabitha, a.k.a. Dorcas gave alms but dropped dead to some unknown virus. Peter gets wind of it and travels to nearby Joppa and the next thing you know, she comes back to life. Tabitha’s alms-giving freed her from her grave clothes.
It’s not as though God is saying we buy freedom. We are like Billy who is saving for his dad’s birthday present. He is saving with money from his allowance. Even though his dad gives him the money, it’s still a wonderful gift. When we give gifts to the poor (a.k.a Jesus), we experience the promise of Galatians “For freedom Christ set us free.”