26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.” Matthew 23: 26-27
There is a story told of a New York City police officer who retired years ago. This officer had spent 30 years on the force and had never drawn his weapon on duty. When he turned in his handgun, it was discovered that the cartridges had corroded and were stuck in the cylinder, effectively making the revolver useless.
It seems the officer, following every shift, had cleaned his weapon by spraying it with lubricant and wiping it off with a rag. The revolver looked nice on the outside, but it was good only as a paper weight.
In verse 25, Jesus talks about the Pharisees as people who have washed the outside of their cups and dishes so they shine, but leave the insides dirty. Jesus is telling the Pharisees that even though they talk a good game and look like they are righteous, they are really like a beautiful monument, which is full of dead and rotting corpses.
People try to clean up their lives by scrubbing down the outside and making it shine, but they only end up like the policeman’s gun.
Jesus tells us to start on the inside. When we have cleansed the inside, then the outside will be clean also.