Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lent Day 18 – Mark 7:1-23

From within makes one defiled. Mark again combines stories with a common thread. First, the Jews ask Jesus about Jesus’ disciples lack of following traditional rules. Jesus reveals Pharisees and scribes inconsistency in following the traditions which revealed they were inwardly far from God. In the second story, the disciples seem (again!) to misunderstand Jesus’ teaching. So Jesus makes it all the clearer that it is not simply in following outward rules that makes one inwardly clean. Rather, in order to be clean, it within a person that needs to be cleansed.
The routine of washing our hands is a good habit that keeps us healthy. (Thus the signs in restaurant bathrooms.) However, scrubbing our hands all the time with antibacterial soap or obsessing with hand washing can present other problems. Might this also be true in how we relate with tradition and Scripture. Neither are obviously bad, in fact, they are both good. The real problem was the selfish motivations the Pharisees and scribes had and not godly motivations.
How is it possible for us too to keep outward rules even though are hearts are far from God?
If people could see your thoughts, which would surprise them the most?
What do you think Mark is implying can be done to solve this inward problem?
Do you think it is possible for us to take Scripture too seriously?
Is Jesus saying tradition is bad? What role should Christian tradition play in our lives?

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