16 Feb. Mark 7:1-13

16 Feb. Going through religious rituals but lacking the Spirit's power

"When some Pharisees and some teachers of the [Jewish] law came from Jerusalem, they gathered around Jesus. They saw some of Jesus's followers eating food with hands that were not [ritually] clean, that is, they hadn't washed them..."

"The Pharisees and the teachers of the law said to Jesus, 'Why don't your followers obey the unwritten laws which have been handed down to us?'..."

"Jesus answered, 'Isaiah was right when he wrote about you hypocrites, "These people show honour to me with words, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is worthless. The things they teach are nothing but human rules."'" [Isaiah 29:13]

"Then Jesus said to them, 'You cleverly ignore the commands of God, and you follow only human teachings... Moses said, "Honour your Father and Mother..."'"

"'But you say a person can say to his father or mother, "I have something I could use to help you, but it is Corban - a gift to God." You no longer let that person use that money for his father or mother. By your own rules... you are rejecting what God said. And you do many things like that.'"

          (Mark 7:1-13)



Some Pharisees and teachers of the Jewish religious law came from Jerusalem to Galilee to discover what was going on there. They criticised Jesus because his disciples were eating food without having first performed the Jewish ritual washing ceremonies to make themselves 'ritually clean’ (see John 2:6 & 11:55).

Jesus accused the Pharisees of hypocrisy because they condoned people who neglected their elderly parents by resorting to a technicality in the Jewish law.

Uncaring sons were formally declaring their earnings to be ‘Corban’ – an offering to God – and thereby refusing to use this money to assist their elderly parents.

In Mark 7:14-23, Jesus points out that nothing outside a person can make them ‘unclean’. Rather, it's what's inside – greed, envy and arrogance, for example – that makes people unacceptable to God.

Unfortunately, like many outwardly 'religious' people, the Pharisees appeared to be 'holy' - they dutifully followed the religious rituals of their day, but they lacked the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit to enable them to carry out God's commands in their everyday lives.

The photo (by Paul Arps) shows two Orthodox Jewish men in Jerusalem.

You can read more about Jesus's conflicts with the Jewish teachers of his day @ https://www.-walks-on-the-sea-o…/thebiblejourney.org/…/jesus

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