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 teachings are but rules taught by men.” Mark 7: 5-7 NIV)
The Pharisees and all Jews did not eat unless they washed their hands. Most of us females would agree with this rule. However, we understand the fast paced life so many live and how we eat on the go more than we like to admit. Jesus and the disciples had been busy. They just fed five thousand plus individuals with five loaves of bread and two fish. During the evening they moved by boat with winds against them. Washing their hands must have slipped their minds. It did not go unnoticed with the Pharisees.
Something new stirred in the neighborhood. There was a refreshed excitement for scripture. People were healed. Jesus and the disciples garnered quite the following. And the Pharisees did not like. Even though they knew scripture, commandments were set aside. Traditions of men became norm as Isaiah prophesied long ago. Modern Day Pharisees are present in most churches. Many people honor God with their lips yet their hearts are far from God.
The only uncleanliness that matters to God is identified through our hearts. Such as: “For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly.” (Mark 7: 21,22 NIV) Do not shoot the messenger here, this is pure truth straight from scripture. These are all sins coming from our hearts. We have all been guilty of at least one if not more. This is why scripture warns the heart is deceptive above all things and beyond cure. (Jeremiah 17:9 NIV). We must examine our hearts with our minds. Then take captive any thought contrary to Biblical truth.
Studying the life of Jesus’s disciples and applying these teachings to our lives may not be easy. God’s Word is not to harm us, it is to save us from an eternity in hell. I love each and every one of you, no matter where you are. Christ’s love that flows through me is meant to reach you. Spend time reviewing above sins. If any apply to you, seek our heavenly Father and ask for forgiveness. Ask Jesus to give you the strength needed to overcome and move forward. He is calling each of us to holiness. I promise, I will search my heart as well.