Mark 7:1-13 1 The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus 2 and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. 3 (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.)
5 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 defiled hands?”
6 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. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”
9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ 11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God) 12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”
Bible Belt Religion is full of apathy. Of doing little things with rote response and religious rituals. It thinks that Jesus is “too nice” to judge us.
But Jesus shares in this passage that it’s our hearts that are important. Jesus shows His love in two different ways: caring for the people with His healings and miracles, but also speaking critically of the people who need it.
The Pharisees stood for legal righteousness. Of being righteous themselves. They say here that the disciples weren’t “walking in the tradition of the elders.” They were putting the traditions ahead of Jesus. These traditions were the multiplied laws that they had invented and added to God’s laws.
Here are some Bible verses that show how God looks at the heart:
1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Chronicles 28:9 “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.”
Proverbs 16:2 All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD.
Proverbs 21:2 A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart.
Jeremiah 17:10 “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”
Revelation 2:23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.
God searches our motives. When He looks into our hearts, does He see love and worship? Does He see us obeying the one great commandment? To love and worship God with all of our heart and soul and mind and to love other people as ourselves?
Labels: Gospel of Mark