Today’s readings: Isaiah 51:1-8; Galatians 3:23-29; Mark 7:1-23
Have you ever watched a raccoon before it eats? They habitually wash their “hands.” This reminds me of the Pharisees in our reading from Mark. They too, would customarily wash their hands before eating. This was their tradition. When they noticed that Jesus and his disciples were not following traditional laws, they challenged him. Their concern was not one of hygiene but rather one of so-called spiritual cleanliness.
Jesus hit the nail on the head when he emphatically informed them, “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” Off course, he was right. When we focus more on our habitual, customary traditions than on the Word of God, we lose our way and become truly spiritually unclean.
The lesson is simple: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.” Let’s not respond like the disciples and be accused by our Lord of being “dull.”
Prayer: Thank you God for inviting us to see our sinful nature and leading us to our Savior, who alone can clean and renew our hearts. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Heidi Punt, Pastor of Christ United Lutheran Church in Granite Falls, NC.