Alex Kremer 02-27-2022 // The Heart of the Matter; Mark 7:1-23
False religions tend to have one thing in common, they will elevate the teaching and traditions of men to the same level of Scripture. In today's lesson, the Pharisees take on Jesus for the fact that His disciples eat without washing their hands.
This is not an issue of cleanliness for the Pharisees; they are not concerned that they are eating with dirty hands. Rather, the concern of the Pharisees is spiritual defilement, equating external cleansing with spiritual purity. Taking the purity laws, the religious leaders expanded them with their traditions, treating them as if Moses himself had handed them down. Promoting themselves as the protectors and teachers of God's Law, the Pharisees instead prohibit the people from following the true Law of God.
Following a scathing rebuke which drew upon Isaiah, Jesus condemns the practices of the Pharisees, reminding them, along with His disciples, that defilement does not come from the outside in. Nothing we take in can defile us. Rather, defilement is a matter of the heart; coming from within. The heart of the matter, then, is the human heart, which is filled with evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murder, adulteries, etc.
If the problem is our heart, is there a solution? Is there any hope for us?
Thank you for listening to today's lesson. May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Holy Word and learn the hope for the defiled heart.