Summary: Do the so called transparent barriers that we construct between ourselves and God’s word provide enough safety from God’s wrath?
A Heart for the Lord
Readings: Matthew 15:1-20
15:1-20pp -- Mk 7:1-23
1 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2 "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!" 3 Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.' 5 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,' 6 he is not to 'honor his father ' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8 " 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'" 10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. 11 What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.' " 12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?" 13 He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit." 15 Peter said, "Explain the parable to us." 16 "Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them. 17 "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.' "
After the flood
Every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood
The fool says in his heart, "There is no God."
Psalm 37:31 NIV
The law of his God is in his heart; his feet do not slip.
9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; who can know it?
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
A Heart for the Lord
Reading: Matthew 15:1-20
Have you ever cheated death? Well in a manner of speaking I did just that this week when we visited Chicago for the first time. Chicago Illinois is home to several of the world’s tallest buildings. I made my way up the Willis Tower formerly the Sears Tower where they have installed four glass boxes that jut out from the 103rd floor of the 105 storey building.
The box is made entirely of glass the sides the ceiling and the floor and sits 4.3 feet out from the edge of the building. Our Canada Sky Dome has a similar tourist attraction. These attractions allow you to be suspended many hundreds of feet in the air as you look down to the streets below with only a sheet of glass between you and eternity. It gives you the feeling that you are perfectly safe despite the danger.
In today’s scripture passage we see many religious people using their religious traditions and their free interpretation of God’s word much like that glass that I stood upon. They could see the danger of where they were standing but thought they were safe and sound because of how they had constructed God’s word to accommodate their needs.
Jesus took the time to point out the eternal danger that their design had placed them in.
There was a Jewish tradition that allowed a son to abandon his family duties to both his parents if he had given himself to God’s service. This was not a scriptural loop hole but rather a tradition that had become a part of accepted Jewish practice.
The son in this case had a clear conscience thinking that his parents could see how his service to God superseded his service to his family. But Jesus did not see things the same way and called them on it.
My question today is; do the so called transparent barriers that we construct between ourselves and God’s word provide enough safety from God’s wrath?