The few times Jesus gets mad in the Bible is when he is dealing with the Pharisees. In Mark 7, the Pharisees are criticizing the disciples for eating with unclean hands. Jesus fires right back to the Pharisees, mentioning their unclean minds. And he declares all food clean.
It’s not that Jesus is against religious traditions. But Jesus gets mad when people use religious traditions to cover up their contempt for what God really wants human life to be about. And we’re guilty of that too — individually and as a society.
When we do good deeds to benefit ourselves — like donating to charity for tax deduction purposes or helping a neighbor and bragging about it, we’re no better than the Pharisees who are using God to glorify themselves. We’re emphasizing cleanliness over godliness.
Here’s a challenge for the week: do something good for the sake of being good and don’t tell anyone about it. Reflect about it with God.
How did that feel?
“Cleanliness and Godliness”
Sermon by The Rev. Joe Gunby
Mark 7: 1-8, 14-15, 21-23
July 29, 2018