Friday, October 30

Deep change

Scripture: Job 22, Mark 7-8

Mark 7:17–23  Then Jesus went into a house to get away from the crowd, and his disciples asked him what he meant by the parable he had just used. 18 “Don’t you understand either?” he asked. “Can’t you see that the food you put into your body cannot defile you? 19 Food doesn’t go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.” (By saying this, he declared that every kind of food is acceptable in God’s eyes.) 

20 And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. 21 For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”

Observation

Jesus was such a radical!  

The Jewish food laws recorded in the first five books of the Bible made many foods unclean—unacceptable to eat.  Many Jews and Christians still follow these laws, despite what Jesus said here.

Jesus said that what you eat can never defile you.  It goes into the stomach and then the sewer, not into the heart.  Mark adds parenthetically that by saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean, or acceptable in God’s eyes.  

It’s what’s in (and comes out of) your heart that matters.  

Application

Religion had become so external.  Jesus rejected that and made it about the heart—what’s inside you, your character, who you really are.  I think we fail to understand how radically different this was, and that we tend to fall into the same error of making it about externals.  

What really needs to change isn’t just a few external behaviors, but my heart, who I am inside.  I need to become a new person!  When that happens, the externals take care of themselves.  And heart change happens when we get close to Jesus and get honest.  Invite Him to change you deep inside.

Prayer: Lord, I invite you to search my heart and change me deep within.  Make me a new person inside and out.  Show me anything inside that doesn’t please You, and root it out so that Your character can grow.