He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ Mark 7:6-7 NKJV
Read Mark 7:1-21. Some Pharisees had come to see Jesus and in the process they noticed how the disciples didn’t wash their hands in the ceremonial way the Pharisees were accustomed to. They were fault-finders, a people quick to point out all that didn’t fit with their way. It makes me wonder whether they really wanted to know more about Jesus.
This section of scripture clearly outlines what matters most – the condition of the heart. I love how Jesus heads straight for the issue, rather justifying or defending the disciples. That’s a lesson we could all use. So many times when others point out flaws in us, our pride is hurt and we want to retaliate. Not, Jesus. No, He points right back to the people pointing out the flaw. Remember, when you point at some else’s sin, there’s three fingers pointing back at you.
Jesus went on to explain we do not defile our self by not washing our hands. There is no defilement which occurs by putting something into our mouth, but rather defilement occurs when our own evil from within comes out. Mark 7:21-23 “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
Why do we so eagerly point out another’s sin? Why don’t we search our self with the same vigor? It is our flesh – our sinful nature. The Bible teaches us the flesh wars against the spiritual causing us to not do what is right (Galatians 5:17). Jesus’ teachings and the Holy Spirit’s leading in our life is always contrary to the flesh’s desire.
But we can have victory. Look at what Romans 8:5 says “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” As God is Spirit, we worship in Spirit, therefore, setting our mind on the things of Spirit is honoring and well pleasing to God.
Lord God thank you for your revealing Word. Thank you for the power of your Holy Spirit in us to guide us in our decisions and enabling us to be well pleasing to you by setting our minds on the things of the Spirit. May we honor you not only with our lips but with our whole heart. In Jesus’ name Amen.
© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.
Learn to do relationships God’s way – Ephesians Bible Study