30/10/11 Job 21; Mark 5-6
31/10/11 Job 22; Mark 7-8
S: Mark 7:14-23 Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “All of you listen,” he said, “and try to understand.
It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.”
Then Jesus went into a house to get away from the crowd, and his disciples asked him what he meant by the parable he had just used. “Don’t you understand either?” he asked. “Can’t you see that the food you put into your body cannot defile you?
Food doesn’t go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.” (By saying this, he declared that every kind of food is acceptable in God’s eyes.)
And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.
All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”
O: The Pharisees were very concerned about ceremonial cleanliness -- eating only kosher (halal) food, and a lot of other rituals. Just a little before this, they had complained about Jesus and His disciples not doing the ceremonial washing (ablutions/wudud) before eating, and Jesus had given an example where they used their tradition/interpretation to go against the spirit of the Law.
God is concerned about our heart far more than our adherence to religious rituals. Religious rituals are there to help us focus on God, or to remind us of the truths of God, but when they become a distraction and excuse to cover up a sinful heart, they are no longer serving that good purpose.
The rules of kosher helped give Jews a distinct identity from the pagan nations around them (and also were generally healthier) but when they became the focus apart from goodness and godliness, they are no longer helpful.
A: Our sinful hearts need the cleansing power and forgiveness of Jesus' sacrifice for us on the cross. We must repent of our sins, even those sins in our hearts, and receive His forgiveness.
P: Father, thank You that You have provided salvation through Jesus' sacrifice for us. Conform us more and more into the image of Your Son. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)