On my way home from town yesterday I noticed the road crew has repainted the center stripes on our nearby roads. It looks great. Sunflower yellow paint shone brightly in the late summer sun. It probably even reflects light at night, which will be helpful when dark rainy days hit. The only problem is they didn’t fix the road.
The intersection between the highway or town, and our neighborhood, has gotten so bad you have to slow to five miles an hour and pick your way through the potholes. Even then, it’s a bumpy ride. They say there’s no money in the county budget for road repair. Even so, I hoped they might resurface this main intersection before summer’s end. But nope, we got a fresh clean paint job instead.
Kind of reminds me of what Jesus said about the Pharisees: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness” (Matthew 23:27-28, NIV).
They were dedicated to implementing the law, but their hearts were not dedicated to God. Jesus told his disciples to follow the law they taught but not their example, because, "Everything they do is done for men to see” (verse 5). They were not the spiritual teachers they should have been.
It was tradition in March, after heavy winter rains, to whitewash the tombs so no one (especially priests) would inadvertently step on them on their way to the Temple. This contact with the dead would prevent them from participating in worship. It also tended to cover up the fact that there were dead bodies inside. Jesus said the Pharisees were just like these tombs – they looked good on the outside, but were dead inside.