Hypocritical Pharisees

We're up to day 12 of our 90 day challenge to read through the entire NT. It’s been great reading though the comments at the end of each day. Today we’re looking at Mark 7,8, & 9.

Jesus address the Pharisees in chapter 7, and it’s been a theme that has been speaking strongly to me lately. Mark (along with all the gospel writers) highlights how JC is often upset at with the Pharisees,


In chapter 7, the Pharisees question JC why his disciples don’t ceremonially wash their hands – which was a pharisaic (or religious) tradition. -

So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked [Jesus], "Why don't your disciples follow our age-old tradition? They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony."

Jesus replied, "You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,


'These people honor me with their lips,

but their hearts are far from me.

Their worship is a farce,

for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.'


"For you ignore God's law and substitute your own tradition."


Hand washing was meant to be symbolic of washing off the ritual impurities that one may have engaged while they’d been at the market. And interestingly…it wasn’t even an OT law…but was developed in the time between the O and N T.

Here, the Pharisees are accusing JC’s disciples of being ritually unclean – but JC points out it’s them that are unclean – b/c they followed their traditions over Gods laws. – They are hypocrites.

When people fake their religious devotion or when they bend God's word to justify the way they want to live, then it is hypocrisy no matter who they are. Jesus hates hypocrisy. When ppl sink into hypocrisy, Jesus will not pretend with them that they are righteous. So what do we do with these harsh words from Jesus?

First, we need to ask ourselves if we are guilty of the sin Jesus condemns! After all, in one way of viewing things, aren't we the religious ones today like the people questioning Jesus were then? If we are guilty, then let's change and put our lives where our mouths are!


Second, we need to be not so bashful with each other when hypocrisy creeps into our lives. Lovingly and humbly, we need to help each other identify and correct any hypocrisy. Hypocrisy destroys our hearts and ruins the influence of Jesus' people on the world!




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