questioning Jesus: Mark 7, MSG ‘pollution’

13 Aug
John 13: 14 – 17

Jesus’ disciples are with him in Jerusalem. Probably, in their business, they do not ritually wash their hands before eating. Observed by religious leaders, these leaders question Jesus, but not the disciples,

5 “The Pharisees and religion scholars asked, “Why do your disciples flout the rules, showing up at meals without washing their hands?”

Their real question? I believe they would say,

We hate your teachings; your healings; your not bowing to the rules, rules we oversee and develop. We hate you. Why can’t you be more like us?

6-8 “Jesus answered, “Isaiah was right about frauds like you, hit the bull’s-eye in fact: These people make a big show of saying the right thing,

but their heart isn’t in it. They act like they are worshiping me, but they don’t mean it. They just use me as a cove for teaching whatever suits their fancy, Ditching God’s command and taking up the latest fads.”

9-13 ‘He went on, “Well, good for you. You get rid of God’s command so you won’t be inconvenienced in following the religious fashions! Moses said, ‘Respect your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone denouncing father or mother should be killed.’ But you weasel out of that by saying that it’s perfectly acceptable to say to father or mother, ‘Gift! What I owed you I’ve given as a gift to God,’ thus relieving yourselves of obligation to father or mother. You scratch out God’s Word and scrawl a whim in its place. You do a lot of things like this.”

Did these Pharisees achieve their goal of shaming Jesus, his disciples, his followers?

Nah. How do we know? He calls all the people together to hear his Pharisee response fully,

14-15 “Jesus called the crowd together again and said, “Listen now, all of you—take this to heart. It’s not what you swallow that pollutes your life; it’s what you vomit—that’s the real pollution.”

17 When he was back home after being with the crowd, his disciples said, “We don’t get it. Put it in plain language.”

18-19 Jesus said, “Are you being willfully stupid? Don’t you see that what you swallow can’t contaminate you? It doesn’t enter your heart but your stomach, works its way through the intestines, and is finally flushed.” (That took care of dietary quibbling; Jesus was saying that all foods are fit to eat.)

20-23 He went on: “It’s what comes out of a person that pollutes: obscenities, lusts, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, depravity, deceptive dealings, carousing, mean looks, slander, arrogance, foolishness—all these are vomit from the heart. There is the source of your pollution.”

What destroys, rots, moulds, pollutes? What is eaten does not pollute. What is inside, from the heart does. Hate pollutes. And it will come out. It always comes out. Sometimes, as questions. Yet, …

Jesus answers. He answers with, in truth and with love.

He loves. He loves Pharisees, the crowd, even his ‘willfully stupid’ disciples. How do we know he loves all so?

He answers and explains; he tells each group a truth is help them live. Jesus tells all the source, the essence of all pollutions. A polluted heart.

Jesus’ truth answers, cleanses. Jesus’ questioning loves. His questions washes not just our hands, he washes feet,

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