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Summary: Woe to us if we allow anything to come between us and the Gospel!

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Mark 7:1-23

"Nothing but Jesus and the Cross"

As the Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law watch the healing

miracles of Jesus take place, they decide that they have to criticize

Jesus openly in order to stop Him.

Will their criticism be about the healing itself?

No.

Surrounded as they are by the recently healed, this would be a losing and

possibly dangerous strategy.

So, the best that they can come up with is this lame excusethey

saybasically "Your disciples dont wash their hands properly before

they eat."

How can these folks compare the healing of the sick to this

inconsequential matter of dipping hands in water to run off any demons

one might accidentally ingest while eating?

Jesus says that the Scribes and Pharisees have "let go of the commands of

God and are holding on to the traditions of men."

In many ways, things have changed very little from that time to this

time.

How many churches putas their highest prioritylets say what color the

carpet in the sanctuary should be or who gets to be chair of which

committee?

And we hear almost weekly about some scandal among clergy or laity who

put power, money, prestige, or personal desire above their calling.

How different this Gospel Lesson might have been if, after seeing Jesus

work and realizing its importance, the Scribes and Pharisees had come to

Jesus saying: "We would like to talk to you later about some issues; but

in the meantime, what can we do to help you with Gods work?"

How might our stories differ if we approach Jesus that way now?

So many things get in the way of our relationship with Christ, and our

ability to do His will as His Church.

Along with Paul may we be resolved to know nothing except Jesus Christ

and Him crucifiedso that our ministryour message will not be ensnarled

by anythingbut will be done with the Spirits power.

Our faith must not rest on human wisdom, but on Gods power and Gods

power alone!!!

In the Gospels Jesus issues three bewares to His disciples.

In Mark chapter 8 Jesus says, "Beware of the leaven of the Herodians."

These were the Jews who went along with the occupying army of Rome so

that they might be able to prosper materially. For them nothing was more

important than property, careers, and money.

In Matthew chapter 16 Jesus said, "Beware of the leaven of the

Sadducees."

Their problem was that they had liberalized, deconstructed, watered

down or discounted the Scriptures to such a degree that there was no

good news left.

They didnt believe in angels, spirits, or even the resurrectionand this

is the reason they were so sad.

The third beware is of the leaven of the Pharisees.

Their leaven was legalism.

These Jewish believers had constructed a code of over 5,000 laws to

ensnarl life.

By following their code, they thought that they were earning Gods love,

deserving salvation, and even putting God in their debt.

The depth of their sin was the most obvious in their refusal to admit

their helplessness.

They believed that they were somehow good enough to earn salvation.

When Jesus came and ministered He often ran into the Phariseesin the


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