Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Matthew 23:26
What happens when we try to help others? In today’s mindset, we start on the outside, thinking if we can change their environment (their home, clothes, food, education), then we can create a new person. It cannot be done. It was in the Garden of Eden—the most perfect environment—that mankind got into trouble in the first place.
Cleaning up the outside is just reformation. When you clean up the inside—the heart, mind, and spirit—the person is regenerated. Jesus is telling the Pharisees in this verse that they don’t need another bath, they need another birth—a new birth.
It’s not that we ought not to help others. We should. But people need more than soap and soup; they need salvation. They need a birth from above, not merely a boost from below. Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with your neighbor is the best “social work” you can do.