The heart behind these posts is to explore the bible together, and to try and apply what it says to our lives, to genuinely let the Word of God affect us on a Monday as well as a Sunday.
For the next sixteen weeks we will be looking each week at a chapter of Mark. I would encourage you to read through the whole chapter at least once as well as the specific chunks we’ll be focusing on.
Mark is the shortest of the four gospels that show the life of Jesus. It is the action film, it is fast and punchy.
Jesus Christ was a man who caused a stir on a quite a few occasions.
In the first section of Mark 7, we see Jesus, who has already had quite a bit of opposition from the pharisees, who were the big dogs in that time, these were the important people, the celebrities, people were intimidated by these guys- Jesus wasn’t.
The pharisees had gotten themselves into the habit of trying to catch Jesus out by asking Him potentially controversial questions regarding the Jewish law in the hope that Jesus would say something wrong and they’d be able to turn the crowds against Him, however they never succeeded.
This is one of those moments.
It was tradition for Jews to pour a cup of water over their hands before eating, and in the same way they don’t eat anything from the market until they have soaked their hands in water. Some of the disciples didn’t carry out this ritual, which the pharisees believed were traditions given to Moses (one of the main people in the Jewish faith) by God in divine revelation. So the pharisees approach Jesus and say “why don’t your disciples keep our age old tradition” to which he replies “you hypocrites” and then goes on to say about how Isaiah prophesied about people worshipping with their mouths but not in their hearts. How they did everything they were supposed to do in public, how they put on a mask when others were around, how they talked the talk, but they didn’t walk the walk. They did not honour God in their hearts.
A modern example of this is Christians who go to church, and sing the songs and say the right words and fake the right smiles, but underneath it all they live a different life. Outside the four walls of the church they are unrecognisable from the people they are on a Sunday. In this passage Jesus reacts quite strongly to this idea. This is not how He wants us to live. This lifestyle causes Jesus’ heart to break.
We can’t live like that.
We can’t be the people that love Jesus on the weekend but not in the weekdays. We have to be the generation that allow Jesus to shape our Mondays as well as our Sundays. He is not an add-on or a hobby- He is everything. There is no middle ground with this, He has to be everything or He is nothing.
The disciples leave everything behind to follow His call.
To quote one of my favourite songs by Isaac Watts:
“Were the whole realm of nature mine
that were an offering far to small.
Love so amazing so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all”
This literally says: if I had everything in nature, everything in the world, it would not be close to being a worthy offering to God. His love, that is so amazing, so awesome, so uncontainable that the only response we can make, the only thing we can offer is our lives, everything we have and all we are. We trade all we are, for all He is. There has never been such a good deal in the history of the world.
We have to change the way we live. We need to let Him be the centre of each moment. When we’re at school, when we are at work, when we are at parties, when we are playing sport, when we are at church.
He has to have all of us, nothing else will do.
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