FEBRUARY 18 READING…Mark 7
Today’s reading begins with the Pharisees and Scribes coming together to oppose Jesus. They tried to find even the pettiest things to discredit Jesus and His disciples. They saw Jesus’ disciples eating without washing their hands. Now think about this…how closely do you have to be watching someone to see this, and how petty do you have to be to make an issue of this? Notice they could not quote Scripture when confronting Jesus and the disciples…they wanted to know why Jesus’ followers did not follow the traditions of the elders. Jesus uses the Scripture to answer their un-Scriptural accusations. He tells them they have replaced the commandments of God by exalting the traditions of men. Now, we need to understand that these religious leaders would have said that they always kept the commandments of God. Jesus tried to help them see that their interpretation and application of the law was a perversion of the very law they claimed to be obeying. Jesus told them that it is not what comes from the outside that defiles a man…but it is the condition of his heart. When they claimed a lack of understanding Jesus told them that it is from within a person that evil thoughts, adulteries, fornication, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, and evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness, and all evil things. The point…stop the pettiness on whether someone washes their hands…and stand up against those things that really reveal defilement in your own heart…starting with self.
After this confrontation Jesus continues to serve the people by healing them. He not only healed the Jewish people, but we see Him healing the daughter of a Gentile. This should remind us that our ministry is not to be only to those like us…but to all nations, to all ethnic groups. From there Jesus returns to the region of the Sea of Galilee and heals deaf and dumb man. This astounded the people who saw this great miracle…sadly most were just excited by the miracle, but their hearts were still far from the Lord. We in our modern churches must be very careful that our responses and our faith is not based on the sensational…but on the Lord who saved us. The sensational will last for a short time, then it will fade…but a genuine faith is Jesus as Lord and Savior lasts for eternity. Look to Jesus…trust Him for your life now…and trust Him for eternity.
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.
MONDAY'S READING…Mark 8