Boy, that Jesus. He didn’t mince words. He didn’t hold back when the Pharisees came after Him. And you know they followed Him around, looking for any chance to attack.
So, Mark 7 is one of the times they couldn’t hold back. They got on Jesus for the disciples not washing their hands before eating their bread. (Yes, maybe it was gross, but I certainly wouldn’t have brought it up. Maybe just gagged a little.) The Pharisees were smug looking and sounding, but Jesus shut them down. He told them these hand washing laws are man made, and He accused them of holding to the tradition of men while neglecting the commandments of God. Ouch. Think they looked around to see who heard?
Now, I know there is a great lesson here in getting caught up in our man made rules, but I want to focus more on verses 17-23. What happened next. Jesus tells the disciples that all food is clean and doesn’t defile the body. (And aren’t I glad, because, mmm, bacon.) The things that come out of our heart are what defile us. “It is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come-sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” Well, I think that covers just about everything. The Pharisees had come at them for something minuscule, something that really had no consequences. They looked for any behavior they deemed wrong and pounced gleefully. However, Jesus didn’t play that game. He saw their hearts, their motives.
If Jesus were face to face with us today, what would He say? What would He tell us to lay aside so we could focus on the actual problems?
Leave that neighbor’s dating life alone and stop being jealous of her.
Quit judging how much our friend drinks and focus on sins we try to hide from the world.
How about we deal with our own heart issues before we tell someone else what they are doing wrong.
These are tough, convicting ideas, but they are said with love. That was the thing about Jesus. He was a straight shooter and spoke directly, but never to judge. He only lectured the Pharisees (and occasionally the disciples when they acted like children.) His words were genuine and dripping with love. If only we could master that!
Let’s lay aside the judgment of those around us and work on our own lives. Jesus wants our hearts right, and really, that requires all of our focus.
Linking with Holley Gerth