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Mark 7

The Pharisees questioned why Jesus’ disciples do not wash according to tradition and Jesus replied with a reproof spoken through Isiah; they neglect the commandment of God to hold to their traditions. Then Jesus gave an example of how they violate the fifth commandment but hold to a tradition set by man. Jesus declared that nothing outside a man, even if it enters him, can defile him, it is the evil that comes from a man that defiles him.  Jesus explained to his disciples that food cannot defile a person but evil thoughts, words and deeds do defile. Jesus healed a non-Jewish woman’s child, because she did not put herself as deserving of the grace given to the Jews but willing to receive even a scrap. Jesus gave a deaf man with garbled speech, hearing and comprehensible speech; because of this and other miracles like it, the name of Jesus was being exalted amongst the people.

There are three principles that we should take from this text:

First, all commandments are love of God and love of other people. The created environment cannot defile a person. It is the intent of the heart that defiles a person. Sin comes out of a person in the form of evil thoughts, evil words and evil deeds. What do I mean by evil? Thoughts, words and deeds that are not love. 

Second, we should not presume upon the grace of God as though we deserve it. God did not have to save anyone. We are the ones who sinned against his will and commandment. When bad things happen, we should not blame God. Nor should we be angry with him if he does not fix our messes. We should ask if he is willing and trust that he is able. We do not deserve the grace of God. We have all sinned and fall short of his glory. But are being justified, as a gift, by his grace, through the redemption, which is in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 3:23-24) 

Third, when we are telling people about Jesus, if we do not tell them about the kindnesses that he did for people, we are not pointing them to Jesus. Jesus, like the Father, is compassionate and gracious. Jesus’ miracles are signs of who he is, not just because they miracles, they were done with compassion and graciousness. None of the people that Jesus healed deserved his grace but he had compassion for the fallen and suffering. Jesus healed the contrite, but he did not heal the Pharisee, the man with a proud heart.

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