Friday, February 20. Matthew 12:33-50.
Let’s imagine that you have a tube of toothpaste. Now, imagine that you paint the outside of the tube black, and then take a label from a tube of glue and paste it onto the tube of toothpaste. If you handed that tube to a stranger and said, “Hey, here’s a tube of glue for your next project.” What would that person think?
She’d probably think…”Hey, that’s a tube of glue.”
What happens when she wants to build her next project and squeezes that tube? What’s going to come out of the tube? Not glue, but tooth paste. Won’t she be surprised, disappointed, and probably pretty mad at you?
The point of today’s reading is that it doesn’t matter what the label says on the outside of your life. What matters is your heart, what you are like in your inner, true self. A good tree produces good fruit. An empty house that is clean, is still empty and evil spirits can still move into it. People may be biological family, but a true family is a group of God-centered, trusted friends who have your best interest in mind.
Jesus is continuing his challenge to the religious establishment in this text. The religious people were more concerned about following all the rules and looking really important on the outside, but inside they were full of fear and hatred.
What will come out when you get squeezed? Spend time each day asking the Holy Spirit to fill you with God’s love, and to be reminded that you are God’s beloved. When you can rest in that truth, then the love of God will bubble up from the inside and overflow to everyone you meet.