What Jesus Did! 'Twisting the Most Basic Truths' — Mark 7:9-13

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Then Jesus said to them: "You think you are smart! You ignore the commands of God so that you can follow your own teachings! Moses said, 'You must honor (respect) your father and mother.' Then Moses also said, 'Any person that says bad things to his father or mother must be killed.' But you teach that a person can say to his father or mother, 'I have something I could use to help you. But I will not use it to help you. I will give it to God.' You are telling that person that he does not have to do anything for his father or mother. So you are teaching that it is not important to do what God said. You think that it is more important to follow those rules you teach people. And you do many things like that."
— Mark 7:9-13
Illustration of Mark 7:9-13 — "You think you are smart!"

Key Thought

Jesus cites an example of the teachers' and Pharisees' hypocrisy of the law in these verses. In this case, the hypocrisy was finding a legalistic rationale to withhold support from parents, thus disobeying one of the Ten Commandments. The brazenness of such rationalization of one of the ten bedrock truths of their existence just proves how deeply the practice of this kind of hypocrisy can become. Legalistic hypocrisy abounds in all sorts of religious groups and religious experience. Let's obey, not rationalize. Let's respond graciously to God's grace and not seek to work our way out of our responsibilities to each other and to him.

Today's Prayer

O God, thank you for such clear examples of legalistic hypocrisy. I hate that Jesus had to see this in his day, but it helps me see what I need to avoid and what your heart hates. Purify my heart and keep a right attitude in me through your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Some Pharisees and some teachers of the law came from Jerusalem. They gathered around Jesus. The Pharisees and teachers of the law saw that some of Jesus' followers ate food with hands that were not clean. ("Not clean" means that they did not wash their hands {in the way the Pharisees said people must}.) The Pharisees and all the Jews never eat before washing their hands in this special way. They do this to follow the teaching given to them by their great people that lived before them. And when the Jews buy something in the market, they never eat it until they wash it in a special way. They also follow other rules from their people that lived before them. They follow rules like the washing of cups, pitchers, and pots. The Pharisees and teachers of the law said to Jesus, "Your followers don't follow the rules given to us by our great people that lived before us. Your followers eat their food with hands that are not clean. Why do they do this?" Jesus answered, "You are all hypocrites. Isaiah was right when he spoke about you. Isaiah wrote, 'These people say they honor me, but they don't really make me an important part of their lives. Their worship of me is for nothing. The things they teach are only rules that people have made.' You have stopped following the commands of God. Now you follow the rules you got from other people." Then Jesus said to them: "You think you are smart! You ignore the commands of God so that you can follow your own teachings! Moses said, 'You must honor (respect) your father and mother.' Then Moses also said, 'Any person that says bad things to his father or mother must be killed.' But you teach that a person can say to his father or mother, 'I have something I could use to help you. But I will not use it to help you. I will give it to God.' You are telling that person that he does not have to do anything for his father or mother. So you are teaching that it is not important to do what God said. You think that it is more important to followthose rules you teach people. And you do many things like that." Jesus called the people to him again. He said, "Every person should listen to me and understand what I am saying. There is nothing a person puts into his body that makes him wrong. A person is made wrong by the things that come from him." Then Jesus left the people and went into the house. The followers asked Jesus about this story. Jesus said, "You still have trouble understanding? Surely you know that nothing that enters a person from the outside can make him wrong. Food does not go into a person's mind. Food goes into the stomach. Then that food goes out of the body." (When Jesus said this, he meant that there is no food that is wrong for people to eat.) And Jesus said, "The things that come from a person are the things that make that person wrong. All these bad things begin inside a person, in the mind: bad thoughts, sexual sins, stealing, murder, adultery, greed, doing bad things to people, lying, doing things that are morally wrong, jealousy, saying bad things about people, proud boasting, and foolish living. All these evil things come from inside a person. These things make a person wrong. "

Mark 7:1-23

Related Scripture Readings

God, scrub away my guilt. Wash away my sins, Make me clean again! Use the hyssop plant and do the ceremony to make me pure. Wash me until I am whiter than snow!

Psalm 51:2, 7

Then I will change people from other nations so they can speak the language clearly and call out the name of the Lord. They will all worship me together, shoulder to shoulder, as one people. People will come all the way from the other side of the river in Ethiopia. My scattered people will come to me. My worshipers will come and bring their gifts to me. "Then, Jerusalem, you will no longer be ashamed of the bad things your people do against me. Why? Because I will remove all of those bad people from Jerusalem. I will take away all of those proud people. There won't be any of those proud people on my holy mountain. I will let only meek and humble people stay in my city (Jerusalem). And they will trust the Lord's name. The survivors of Israel won't do bad things. They won't tell lies. They won't try to trick people with lies. They will be like sheep that eat and lie down in peace—and no one will bother them."

Zephaniah 3:9-13

Come near to God and God will come near to you. You are sinners. So clean sin out of your lives. You are trying to follow God and the world at the same time. Make your thinking pure.

James 4:8

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.