“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. Blind guides! You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel! “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too. – Matthew 23:23-26 (NLT)
Jesus is still in the middle of correcting the prevailing religious thoughts of his day. One of the main concepts was that the religious leaders were so intensely following the extrabiblical laws that they were not tending to their hearts. They would strain their wine to get the tiniest insect out of it to keep it from being contaminated but they ignored heaping amounts of injustices such taking care of widows, orphans, the poor, etc. They were not seeking justice, loving kindness and walking humbly with God (Micah 6:8). All of these attributes were lacking in their lives. They were concentrating on outward appearances. They wanted to be seen counting the smallest of the garden produce so that others would think they were righteous and holy.
How does this compare to your life? Do you put forward an outward appearance of holiness but let your inward thoughts and motives run counter to what God asks us to do? How are you seeking justice, kindness, and humility?