Saturday, March 12, 2016

Daily Devotional: March 12

Week Seven, Day Five, The Gospel according to Mark, Chapter seven

Jesus is getting tired of the Pharisees' hypocrisy. In a world in which your social standing was based on your pious adherence to arbitrary rules, Jesus was out of place. These people had subjected the poor and downtrodden to their interpretation of the Jewish law, and cared more about how religious they looked than how they actually felt. 

We still do this in our own way. Or society for the most part doesn't care about pious adherence to religious law, but in many church circles, that is still the case. Humans are often quick to draw party lines regardless of the situation. We love belonging to a group, and the best way to identify who is in our group is do identify who is out

All these evils come from inside

We often blame outside forces for our mistakes. It's natural. In nonreligious circles, we blame other people. In the church, we often blame the devil. What Jesus makes clear in this teaching is the devil doesn't have to do much, we do his job for him most of the time. I'm not denying the existence of Satan ("the accuser" in Hebrew) but I am saying we are often our own Satan, our own accuser. We can be terribly accusatory of others who don't fit our system of belief. We can be terribly accusatory of ourselves for falling short of our own expectations of what a "good person" is.

All these evils come from inside

Quick to judge, slow to love. That describes us so often, but it does not describe God. He is slow to judge, quick to  love. Always merciful, forgiving, and affirming of us. He isn't concerned about the cleanliness of our hands. He isn't concerned with how well we jump through religious hoops. He is only concerned with how clean our hearts are. 

If we are slow to judge others based on our definition of "good," or "religious," or "christian," then we will be transformed into the type of person Jesus was. A loving, caring, and kind person. The problems we face, and struggles we have are often a result of ourselves or others acting in a way unlike Jesus. And all these evils come from inside.

Clean hearts is our prayer. Non-judgemental eyes are our goal.

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About Drew

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A follower of Jesus, trying to build myself and others up from the inside out.