“Inside Out”

On September 2, Pastor Katy preaches on March 7:1-8, 14-15.

1 Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, 2 they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. 3 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; 4 and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) 5 So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?”  6 He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,

‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
7 in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’

8 You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”
14 Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: 15 there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.”

I’ve always been amused by pieces of clothing that have a label instructing to turn the garment inside out before washing. It makes sense to protect the visible part of the shirt or pants from the wear and tear of the washing machine, but what about the inside? As long as the outside appears clean and tidy, we don’t typically give much thought to the inside because no one sees it. In Mark 7, Jesus addresses a similar dilemma with our own insides, our own hearts. Far too often we take extreme care of our visible lives, but it can come with a cost for our hearts.