Sermon Summary from May 28, 2017
Mark 7:1-23 • Pastor Chris Liu
Traditions are great! Many families and churches have certain traditions that they hold on to and these traditions can help bring people together and is something that people can look forward to and be a part of. However, we can’t make it where turn the traditions into law and become too stubborn to change or hear what God wants us to do.
In Mark 7:1-23, we see the Pharisees question Jesus’ disciples regarding the washing of their hands before they ate. However, it wasn’t that the disciples didn’t wash their hands, it was that they didn’t wash it “properly” as according to tradition. Jesus responds to them by showing the hypocrisy of their hearts.
The Pharisees would often act holy and do “holy things” (like pray or tithe), but their hearts were in the wrong place. It wasn’t an act of worship to God, but it was a show and it was to lift themselves up. So when we serve God or do the good things that God desires us to do, we should serve Him and do them with a pure heart. It shouldn’t be about us, but about worshiping and give God honor and glory.
Another thing the pharisees would do is that they would also try and find loopholes in God’s law for their own benefit. An example Jesus gave was that they would claim that certain things are “corban” (that means dedicated to God). By doing that they could keep those things for themselves and not give it away to those who are in need (like their parents or others who are in need). The deeper issue was that they were making up excuses so that they didn’t have to do certain things that God wants us to do. In the same way, we can often come up with excuses so that we don’t have to serve God or do the things He desires us to do. Hopefully, we won’t be like the pharisees and make up excuses.
Jesus ultimately points to the heart of the matter… which is all about the heart. Our hearts have been corrupted by sin and it is those areas in our lives that need to be addressed. Mark 7:21-23 says, “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” If we have any of these issues that we are struggling with, let’s repent and ask God for forgiveness. Let’s work to have a pure heart and serve God with that clean heart.