Clean Hands, Clean Spirit

Today’s Reading: Mark 7

“Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” Mark 7:14-15

Hello! It’s Jillian again this week.  Lynden went on a little daddy son vacation this weekend and all the fun got the best of him! I promise to make our Monday morning short and sweet. Mark Chapter 7 teaches us about inner purity. The overall theme is about keeping the law and traditions in order to look holy instead of honoring God. Jesus wasn’t against all tradition but he was against the idea of making tradition more important than the words of God. I chose verses fourteen and fifteen for us to focus on today. When I re-read this chapter in preparation to write this evening, this verse or set of verses were speaking to me!   The Pharisees believed that rituals like cleansing hands or dishes prior to eating would make them acceptable to God simply because they were clean on the outside.

We as Christians (and by we I mean ME) can become like the Pharisees when we worry that contact with unbelievers or spending time with those that aren’t necessarily the “same” as us. Jesus didn’t limit himself to ministering only to Christians. He didn’t reject people or groups that had ideas inconsistent with His own. Jesus wants us to follow his example by going out into the world an connecting with others.  He doesn’t want us to surround ourselves with just other Christian’s in an effort to stay pure. Jesus didn’t intend for us to withdraw. We are  charged with taking up the responsibility of exemplifying the love and acceptance of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Jesus goes on to say that it’s not what influences us on the outside that defiles us, but what comes from our heart. So then we must search our heart.  We must practice traditions that honor our Heavenly Father, not out of obligation or appearance of devotion. I pray this week that we can be genuine in our love for Christ. That we can truly connect with him this week as we continue to study his words though Mark. I pray for all of us that we can purify our heart!