180 Degrees from the Truth
Mark 7:13 “. . . by your tradition . . .”
Rule-keeping is easier than relationship. Christians have always been good at writing rules. His followers have always been experts in writing codes, commands and enforcing conduct.
By the time Jesus entered on the scene, the religious system of the day had a total of 613 traditions they expected every person to adhere to. These were not Old Testament laws given by God, but rather, were rules and regulations the Hebrew leaders had invented.
The demands placed on the average Jewish citizen was so absurd, it was almost comical. One of the religious leaders’ rules was that if the shadow of a gentile passed over the kitchen utensils, it made the utensils unclean. These self-righteous leaders were so intent on following their own nit-picky laws that they stuffed God’s law into a forgotten, dark corner.
Jesus was unimpressed by the Pharisees outward show of holy behavior. The mistake the Pharisees made, was believing holiness was something that was tacked onto the outside of one’s life by right behavior. Their premise for living was “obey the rules!” But according to Jesus, this way of thinking was 180 degrees from the truth.
The scriptures proclaim that holiness must be an attitude of the heart before it can be an activity of the body. Right-standing before God is not a result of something which one does, rather, it’s something a person receives by believing in Jesus Christ.
It’s God Himself who makes you holy and whole, it’s God alone who puts you together spirit, soul and body, the One who has called you, is completely dependable and capable of placing you in right-standing before Him.
God makes us holy as a result of our faith in Christ. Our actions are by-products of God-given holiness, not attempts to achieve holiness.
Let this truth sink deep into your soul; through believing in Jesus the Messiah, you have been set apart as holy for God and His purposes, now and forevermore.