You Can’t Be That Clean
“. . . eating their bread with impure hands, . . .” Mark 7:2
The religious thugs of the day, the Pharisees noticed that Jesus’ disciples did not observe the ceremonial cleaning. The religious leadership believed in the power of soap, instead of the presence of the Savior. They were proud of the fact that they had washed themselves of the unclean foods and the filth of others. It was what they believed made them acceptable to God.
How this must have brought pain to the heart of Jesus. He knew the washing of hands or vessels had nothing to do with being right with God. How His heart must break today for all those trapped by religious red tape that they can make themselves acceptable to God through doing good things, such as praying many times a day, attending church, giving money, being moral.
The problem with this way of living is, no one can say when good enough is good enough. Because no one really knows if they have done enough, this way of life demands they keep living in a perpetual state of unholy fear, always trying to do more good works so God will be happy with them.
Jesus makes it plain and clear that to think living by the external, doing the right things on the outside, while cluttered on the inside, is the real tragedy of life. The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart. One must be changed, and the only way that can take place, is through Christ. No human effort can change or cleanse a person’s heart.
Our relationship with God is centered on the new covenant, a promise God makes to any who will simply place their trust in Him. “I will put a new spirit within them. I will remove the heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh and I will cause them to walk in my statutes . . .” Ezekiel 36:26-27. What God PROMISED, Jesus makes POSSIBLE through His life, death and resurrection, the Holy Spirit makes AVAILABLE to all who will lean the full weight of their life onto Jesus. Only God can make us acceptable. It’s God’s work, not ours, that gives us right standing. So put down your religious list, and start living.
“Lord Jesus, I realize I can never make myself as good as you are, so I trust you to do in me what I could never do for myself. Thank you that through Jesus, you have declared me to be pure and holy. You are the source of my change.”