Clean Inside

Dirty Cup

Key Verse

Matthew 23:25-26

Additional Verses

Matthew 15:19-20; James 4:8; Matthew 12:33; Luke 6:45; Jeremiah 4:14

Materials Needed

  • Nice looking cup or glass (something not clear works best)
  • Plain or Styrofoam cup
  • Mud


Put some mud inside the “nice” cup. Smear some mud on the outside of the plain-looking cup.

Object Lesson

(Hold up both cups and show everyone.)

I have two cups here. One of them is really nice (maybe you can tell them where you got it if it has any significance to you) and the other one is not so nice looking. Which cup would you rather drink out of? This really nice looking cup that looks clean? Or this plain-looking cup that looks like it has something on it? (Wait for a response). Most of us would want to drink out of the nice cup.

(Pour the mud out of the nice cup.)

Would you still like to drink out of this one?

(Show the clean inside of the plan looking cup.)

Now which one looks better to you? Although this nice one looks better on the outside the other one is better on the inside. If we had to drink water from one of these cups we would choose the one that is clean inside.

When Jesus walked the earth there were many people who tried to look good on the outside by doing good things, going to church, dressing nice and following all the right rules. But Jesus knew that their hearts were not clean at all. They were filled with envy and greed. Jesus also saw people who didn’t look as good on the outside, but their hearts were pure before God.

What do you think God prefers? Someone who looks good on the outside, but is dirty on the inside? Or someone who maybe doesn’t look the best or even say all the right things, but is clean inside? Jesus wants us to be clean inside! He says in Matthew 23:25-26 that we should make sure that we clean the inside of the cup and not worry as much about the outside.

It is important for us to make sure that we have a clean heart before God and not worry so much about what we look like on the outside.

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