What Jesus Did! 'Defiled!' — Mark 7:21-23

Sunday, May 1, 2016

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 7:21-23
Illustration of Mark 7:21-23 —  These things make a person wrong.

Key Thought

Sometimes in our quest to emphasize Jesus' concern about our inner being, we accidentally let go of any sense of holy standards. Jesus did not. Jesus' followers were instructed not to do so. Morality was stressed as a response to God's grace, was the product of a life led by the Holy Spirit, and was the demonstration that they died to their old life of sin when a person was baptized with Christ into his death. Immorality was condemned in specific and strong terms. The observable immorality and corruption, however, found it's origin in Satan's influence on the inner being of a person. Externals were simply the way a person's inner life became exposed.

Today's Prayer

Father in heaven, please work on my heart. Purify my motives and my desires. Make me your person, holy and pure. 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

The wrong things our sinful self does are clear: doing sexual sins, not being pure, doing morally bad things, worshiping false gods, doing witchcraft, hating, making trouble, having jealousy, being very angry, being selfish, making people mad at each other, making divisions, having envy, being drunk, having wild and wasteful parties, and doing other things like this. I warn you now like I warned you before: The people who do these things will not be in God's kingdom.

Galatians 5:19-21

When a person is being tempted, he should not say, "God is tempting me." Evil cannot tempt God. And God himself does not tempt any person. It is the evil things a person wants that tempt that person. His own evil desire leads him away and holds him. This desire causes sin. Then the sin grows and brings death.

James 1:13-15

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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.