Matt 23:27-28


"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  

For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful,

but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.

So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men,

but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”


Vicki and I are getting the roof of our house repaired this week.  It is one of those things that costs a lot of money, takes a lot of time, effort and material, but doesn’t really show all that much . . . you can’t even see our second story roof from the ground.  What you can see though, looks a whole lot nicer.  


The unexpected benefit was that getting the old roof off exposed what was underneath.  And there, hidden from sight in one corner, was evidence of rot – damage from water leaking through the old shingles into the structure underneath.  It was a blessing in disguise because, had we not uncovered it in time, it would have eventually caused extensive structural damage.  As it is, the workmen were able to correct the problems and replace or repair what was messed up. 


It struck me how the whole thing could be seen as a metaphor for some people’s lives.  We all know people who have let just enough of God’s word leak through to give them an idea of what Christianity looks like.  Then they work hard to look right, say the right things, and give the appearance of being good people – but their hearts are unchanged.  They may appear to be “religious” people like the scribes and Pharisees in the text, but they don’t really know God.  They have heard the Gospel, but they have not been born again. 


Here in the South there are lots of people who grew up in the church, went to Sunday School, took part in youth activities, and were taught to name Jesus as their Savior.  Yet their hearts are really untouched by the Good News. This is a terribly sad situation.  In fact, to become insulated from the saving grace of Christ; to be separated from the benefits of authentic faith is tragic.  In the verse above Jesus used the word “woe.”  That means “sorrow” or “misery” or “tribulation.”  No one seeks after those things.  But resisting the call of the Holy Spirit leads one away from the joy and hope and blessing that their heart yearns for. 


The good news is that the damage can be repaired.  It is not too late to let the carpenter tear off that old covering, clean out the rotten parts, and replace them with something new, something strong, something lasting.  Jesus can do it, He has 2000 years experience in the restoration business.


Pastor Keith Andrews