“And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.””
Mark 7:20-23 NLT
Jesus himself did provide a clear example to us what sin looks like. It clearly matches what Moses taught the people of Israel in the desert. Does Jesus give us this list so we can have a definitive list of what sins? If we look back in the chapter and find out why Jesus had started this conversation, we come to find out that he was addressing a question of the religious leaders of the day.
They wanted to know why Jesus disciples were following the religious traditions that they did. Even in Jesus day, there were people who were living double lives, those who put on religious masks showcasing their faith. The problem was that this was only skin deep. It never penetrated their lives and was just a facade.
Jesus after chastising them about their hypocrisy, went on to teach them that what we eat me how we eat it doesn’t defile us. Sin which is in ever heart is what makes us unworthy. We decide what we do with this sin that is destroying us from the inside. If we don’t deal with the internal problem in our lives the stuff we do on the outside won’t really matter. Cosmetic surgery only deals with your appearance but is useless if your first deal with the cancer that is eating you alive from the inside.
I think that is why today so many mental issues and physiological problems are surfacing. For far to long in this world, we have focused on beauty and looking god that we forgot that what matters is on the inside. Jesus knew this and still knows this. He continued in his ministry life on earth by taking p the cross, dying on it and raising up from the dead, ascending to heaven.
To often we forget that when Jesus died on the cross humanity, all humanity’s sin died on the cross. When Jesus rose again all humanity rose again. We are living in a period of humanities history where man is only one decision away from restoring themselves with God. Jesus doesn’t look at the outside of a person, telling them to get cleaned up before I meet with you, nor does he look on the inside and say wow you’re to dirty. No, he says come as you are, I have made you clean already, accept the gift I have provided for you. Come back into a relationship with the Father, Son, and Spirit and we will rejoice and dance together.
Jesus, if we have become a people who focus on being outwardly clean we ask that you refocus us to keep our hearts clean. We don’t want rules and traditions to be something that keeps others from coming to you. Help us to show the world that you are vitally important to them, that you will accept them as they are. There is nothing they can do that will increase their chances of meeting you, you are already ready willing and able to meet them as they are. They matter to you Jesus, so they matter to me, let me be effective in sharing your truth with them. Amen