Hello

Something’s gotten the Pharisees knickers in a twist. Day 13 begins and the religious leaders are more interested in clean hands and germs than clean hearts before God. Don’t be surprised if you’re feeling confused, the Pharisees seemed to have a knack for complicating things…

Read

Today's reading is from Mark 7:1-23. You can find it on page 767 of your Higher Bible.
You can also read it online here.

Think

So it seems the Pharisees won’t sit down to eat without a full certificate in health and hygiene whereas Jesus is more of a ‘lick-the-grease-off-your-fingers’ kind of guy. Is that what Mark’s Gospel is getting at? No. The real issue here is purity or decency or integrity. The Pharisees might look ‘holier-than-thou’ on the outside but inside they are far from God. No amount of scrubbing fingernails or palms is going to wash their hearts clean. The Pharisees had hearts which pumped out bad motivations leaving them with bad blood. They twisted and turned around God’s laws to suit their own needs, leaving the vulnerable to fend for themselves. This isn’t the way of Jesus. The challenge of the gospel is to please God by loving him in what we do and how we do it. True religion isn’t clean hands and fingernails; it’s the opposite. True religion is getting your hands dirty in the mess of the world and trying to do something about it.

Pray

Psalm 139 says, ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life’ Ask God to show you if there is anything in your heart that needs cleaning up.

Live It

Why not have a read of the whole of Psalm 139, on page 476 of your Higher Bible?

Repeat

Let’s end today by asking, ‘How healthy is your ticker?’ Do you help people out because you like being needed or do you genuinely want to see them better off? It’s good to examine your motives now and again, otherwise you too might end up with your knickers in a Pharisee twist. We’ll be back tomorrow.