“Out of the Heart”

In the early first century, doing the right things the right way and appearing to be religious had become the sum of what it meant to be a follower of God. If you wanted to know if you were good enough for God you only had to measure your good works against the teachers’ list of do’s and don’ts. The history of magnificent experience with Yahweh had been reduced down to traditions as simplistic as whether you washed your hands a certain way before eating. In Jesus’ day, those teachers most consumed with measuring behavior sought to trap Jesus in Mark 7. That trap was set when Jesus’ men didn’t bother with ritual washing before eating. While the Pharisees pointed out the failure of the disciples, the real failure they wanted to highlight was Jesus for not making His followers obey the traditions. Through harsh rebuke and gentle correction Jesus re-establishes what it means to follow God.