The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




They Should Have Known Better

"So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, 'Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with unclean hands' " (Mark 7:5)

For whatever reason, the Pharisees and religious leaders of Jesus' day were constantly trying to make Him look bad. They thought that they had the market cornered when it came to knowing and adhering to the "letter of the law." Now don't get me wrong, there's certainly nothing amiss about washing one's hands before eating, but it was not a binding law. Jesus quoted the prophet Isaiah in answering them..."These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men" (Vs 6-7). Jesus simply wasn't interested in the traditions of men when it came to true religion. Jesus' words on this matter continued..."Listen to me everyone and understand this. Nothing outside a man can make him 'unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean' " (V 15). Again, the teachings of Jesus are masterful, meaningful and true...In talking metaphorically about food entering the body He said; "For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body" (V 19).

God's laws, even in the Old Testament were not to be simply about ceremony. Although even in our churches today there are ways that we do things that might be construed as ceremonial, it is still about our hearts. Praying, singing and Bible study should never be considered as a ceremonial part of our worship, but rather from our hearts. Even our monetary offerings should come from our desire to give and not from a sense of duty. Lets all keep washing our hands often because it is good practice of personal physical hygiene. More importantly, lets keep our hearts clean and pure....Evil things come from the inside of man not the outside. Good things also. The Pharisees should have known better, how about us?

Have a wonderful day... Make a difference... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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