Bible Reading: Mark 7:1-23

“And he said, “what comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:20-23)

Jesus came from heaven to earth to reveal the truth to the world. If He never came, humanity would continue to be in the dark with no hope whatsoever. However, praise God because Jesus did come to unveil to us our greatest issue and to be the solution to that problem. 

There is no other man like Him, and there is no other religion like Christianity. Our God loved us so much that He came from above to be with us. He came as the physician who diagnoses our disease and as the remedy which will bring us healing. 

Other religions observe the symptoms, seek remedy for those symptoms and hope to make themselves well again. They will never understand the inner cause of their disease, and even if they did, they would find not possible treatment. Christ is the one and only saviour of humankind who came to diagnose our illness and become the medicine we all desperately need. 

At that time, the Pharisees were criticizing the disciples who ate food without washing their hands. It was Jewish custom and law for people to wash their hands before eating to remain ceremonially clean and ‘holy’ before God. Yet, Jesus rebuked them, saying, “You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” 

The laws that they held on to were not God’s laws. They were laws the Pharisees had made themselves. Jesus knew that inwardly, the Pharisees made lots of strict laws and followed them only that people would see them and praise them for being ‘holy’. Their hearts didn’t really love God. They loved the attention and praise of others. 

Jesus then said to everyone there, “There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him” (Mark 7:15). What Jesus reveals to us is that we are not made sinful and unholy from outward things. These included touching certain objects and animals and not giving your sacrifices, and doing other rituals in Jewish culture. 

In today’s terms, what makes us unholy and sinful is not missing out on church and not praying to God. Jesus reveals that the root cause of our sin is much deeper than that. He even goes on to say that murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit and all these horrible things we do are not what makes us sinful. These are the fruits of sin, but what makes us sinful lies within us. 

It is like a man with cancer. Sure he feels a little unwell at times, but he does not know that inside of him, something is killing him from within. Sin is far worse than cancer, and Jesus tells us that it lies within our hearts. Our hearts are sinful because they are inclined to rebellion against God. Because our hearts and will and desires are sinful, out come from our lives sinful things. The root problem is that we hate God and desire to please ourselves. This problem lies in every one of us. 

For a problem like this, no matter how hard we try, we won’t be able to change our hearts. That is why Jesus came to diagnose and heal. He came to die on the cross for our sins that we could be made right with God and be given new hearts because of Christ’s perfect obedience. He is the true physician, and we all desperately need Him. Have you turned to Him today? 

Lord, please forgive me because I have taken sin lightly and misunderstood it. Sin is not outside of me, but it is my heart that is rebellious against You. I cannot change my heart. Please have mercy on me and forgive me. Please change my heart and make it new. You are God, and in Christ alone, there is forgiveness of sins. Please help me to understand the depths of my sins that I may understand the riches of Your grace. In Jesus’ name, amen.