Jesus on Leaky Spirituality

A leaking bucketJesus taught of a leaky spirituality.

What’s on the inside eventually leaks out. Your heart eventually overflows like water, even if you try to contain it:

“You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.” (Matthew 12:34-35)

Where there’s smoke there’s fire:

“Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” (Matthew 15:19)

The evil of our persecutors will eventually be revealed:

“Nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.” (Matthew 10:26)

This one is terrifying: False converts who seem to have escaped spiritual bondage will fall back under worse bondage:

“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first.” (Matthew 12:43–45)

There is a seed that is “proven unfruitful”:

“As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22)

Not even slick false prophets can hide their true nature. They become diseased trees:

“You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16-20)

The Pharisees were like, “We aren’t like that.” And God sends men to be killed to show that, yeah, “You’re like that.”

“You build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.” (Matthew 23:29-35)

The apostle Paul on this same topic (summarizing this whole topic well):

“The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.” (1 Timothy 5:24-25)

Your secret gorging on darkness makes your whole soul dark:

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23)

Jesus teaches that cleaning the inside results in an eventually clean outside:

“First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.” (Matthew 23:26)

It’s no wonder that Jesus teaches us to give in secret (Matthew 6:2-4), pray in secret (6:5-6), and fast in secret (6:16-18). He teaches against anxiety of the heart (6:25-34).And his beatitudes are inward-oriented, a matter of hungering and thirsting (5:2-11). Jesus would have us cultivate an interior, secret life of righteousness, and let that leak out on its own.

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