Tag: traditions of men

Honor with the lips only!

Scripture reading for February 18th:  Mark 7

“So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with ‘unclean’ hands?”  He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:  “These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.  They worship Me in vain; their teaching are but rules taught by men.”” (Mark 7:5-7)

Jesus and His disciples were always under scrutiny from the religious establishment.  Jesus did not back down when they confronted Him about keeping their traditions.  They majored on the traditions but had missed the commands of God that pointed them to acts of mercy and service.  Their greed was behind some of these traditions!  Jesus pointed to the commandment to honor your mother and father and another teaching of Moses that anyone who would curse father or mother should be put to death.  These Pharisees instructed people that if they gave money to them for ‘God’s work’, they did not have to help their father and mother!  (Mark 7:9-13)  They had nullified the command of God by their tradition!

Jesus went on to teach that what really made men ‘unclean’ was not failing to wash their hands!  “Listen to Me, everyone, and understand this.  Nothing outside a man can make him ‘unclean’ by going into him.  Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him ‘unclean’. . . For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slader, arrogance and folly.  All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.'” (Mark 7:14-15, 21-23)  Let’s check our hearts today!  Only Jesus’ blood can cleanse the heart!

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The evil is inside, hypocrite!

Scripture reading for February 24th: Mark 7:1-23, Psalms 40:11-17, Proverbs 10:13-14

Jesus’ disciples were criticized by the Pharisee’s for eating without washing their hands, according to the traditions of the elders.  The Pharisee’s told them that they were “unclean” because of this and defiled.  They asked Jesus why His disciples were doing this and Jesus spoke clearly to them about their traditions that were violating the heart of God’s truth.

“Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites, as it is written:  ‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.  They worship Me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’  You have let go of the commands of God and are  holding on to the traditions of men.” (Mark 7:6-8)

Jesus proceeded to teach the crowd that had gathered that what goes into a man is not what defiles him, but what comes out of the inside that makes him unclean.  (Mark 7:15)  When someone eats something with unclean hands, that only goes into his stomach and then is eliminated from his body.  Things from the outside don’t go into the heart but the stomach.  In saying this Jesus was declaring all foods as clean.  This was a radical departure from what the Pharisees understood from the Law!  (Mark 7:19)

“He went on, “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’  For from within, out of men’s hearts, com evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly.  All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.'” (Mark 7:20-23)

Jesus spelled out what causes defilement.  It was not food or failure to wash the hands.  It was evil in the heart that came through the lips.  Notice how many of God’s commandments are represented here with this list of evils.  At least five are covered!  Thinking and speaking evil defile a man and render him ‘unclean’ in God’s sight.

There is only one way to be free from this defilement and become clean inside.  It is by repentance!  We acknowledge the truth that these evil things within us are sin and breaking of God’s laws and that we have done it.  We turn from doing those things towards God for mercy and help to escape these thoughts and actions.  We use our mouth to ask for mercy and commit to truth!  Try it today!

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