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Mark 7

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Good morning Rivertree! It is a joy to be with you today. Whether you are here at this campus, worshiping at south our watching online I just wanted to let you know I am excited to be with you!
Ross is out for the next 2 Sundays on mission in poland so I’ve got the joy of being with you as we continue our series in the gospel of Mark.
In case you weren’t here last week we looked at . In we see the disciples face yet another great storm in fact the storm was so great mark says

48 And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about bthe fourth watch of the night7 he came to them, walking on the sea

at first they think it’s a ghost but then they realize it’s Jesus when he speaks to them.
and the verse that really ministered to my heart was

51 And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded,

and I loved how Ross pointed out that our destenation is where Jesus is. That no matter what storms come our way, no matter if we feel like we are making progress or not, when Jesus is with us we realize we are exactly where we are suppose to be.
and that ministered a lot to me this last week. I know some of you are aware of thiss and some of you aren’t but back in late april I was diagnosed with a cornea diseae called Kertaconus. Through Gods grace and awesome doctors and a few surgerys my vision has been really improved over the last 2 months.
bowever there have been some moments of discouragement and disappointment. ONe of those has been it’s hard to read with 2 eyes opened so even in prepping for this talk today I had to really on one eye which a great eye doctor made a speciality contact for.
and it’s in my moments of discouragement and disappointedment that I am grateful that Jesus is in the boat with me. That he hasn’t left me alone to firgure out this storm.
and I’ve settled in my heart while this has been disappointed Jesus has something for me in it. And I am Hopeful not to miss what he has for me.
having this cornea diseas has also made sense of some things. Like how I don’t see crums on the floor, or coffee beans when I accidently spill them......and really it’s help me realize why My basketball career never quite panned out.
It wasn’t the fact I couldnt jump very high or that I was only 5’9.....It was that my vision was off so my shooting wasn’t as good as it could have been.
But then the other day my wife sent me an articale, it was titled 13 people who have keretacounus. The # 1 person on the list was steph curry......in case you don’t know who that is he is one of the greatest shooters in NBA history.
so yeah.....that excuse doesn’t work I guess...
(transistion statement)
Something we all have in common
It’s what those in are trying to make sense of also.
Let’s read

7 pNow when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes qwho had come from Jerusalem, 2 they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were rdefiled, that is, unwashed. 3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly,1 holding to sthe tradition of tthe elders, 4 and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash.2 And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as uthe washing of vcups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.3) 5 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to sthe tradition of tthe elders, wbut eat with rdefiled hands?” 6 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you xhypocrites, as it is written,

y“ ‘This people honors me with their lips,

but their heart is far from me;

7  in vain do they worship me,

teaching as zdoctrines the commandments of men.’

8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”

9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of arejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! 10 For Moses said, b‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, c‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban” ’ (that is, given to God)4— 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus dmaking void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

What Defiles a Person

14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, e“Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 fThere is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.”5 17 And when he had entered gthe house and left the people, hhis disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then iare you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart jbut his stomach, and is expelled?”6 (kThus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, l“What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, mmurder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, nsensuality, oenvy, pslander, qpride, rfoolishness. 23 sAll these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

RIght away we are introduced to 2 groups of people in mark 7. A group of pharisees and scribes had traveld from Jerusalem to where Jesus was in order to once again try and trap Jesus.
The pharisees where the religious leaders of the day and the scribes were this group of people who were the strictess keepers of the law.
and as the arrive to where Jesus they notice we’ve got him. His disciplles don’t was their hands when the eat.
Therefore they said Jeuss’ disciples hands were defiled.....or in other they were unclean.
know the phariess aren’t talking about hygenie here they are talking about something much more complex in their culture
The word unclean meant that they would be ritually unacceptable.
in other word they were unclean before God.
This was a huge fear in the phariees minds as mark points out in verse 3

3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly,1 holding to sthe tradition of tthe elders, 4 and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash.2 And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as uthe washing of vcups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches

They were washing all the time!
It was what they had to do.....it was never ending. Becuase they coulnd't risk what it might mean for them or say about them if they were unclean.
Before meals they would pour a little water over their hands, elevating them slightly so the water would run down to the wrist, and then would rub their hands together.
Next they would lower their hands and rinse them, allowing the water to run off their fingertips.3 This was just for meals.
If they were returning from a place where they could be defiled, such as the marketplace, because they were scared someone who was uncleans shadow might have gone over them.
“According to the cleanliness laws, if you touched a dead animal or human being, if you had an infectious skin disease like boils or rashes or sores, if you came into contact with mildew (on your clothes, articles in your home, or your house itself), if you had any kind of bodily discharge, or if you ate meat from an animal designated as unclean, you were considered ritually impure, defiled, stained, unclean. That meant you couldn’t enter the temple—and therefore you couldn’t worship God with the community.”
they went to greater extremes. Some commentators think the language of our text means they took a bath
and it even got more intense when it came to washing dishes. There was a book that was 35 pages long to washing vessels in Jesus day
It got so extreme that onece a rabbi omitted washing his hands before eating bread and his was kicked out of his community.
another rabbi was imprisoned by the romans and he died because he used a ration of drinking water to ritually wash himself instead of drink it to stay alive.
it’s becasue
and that seems extreme right? Like the idea that they would bathe coming back from teh store, or rather die then be unclean
and that seems extreme right? Like the idea that they would bathe coming back from teh store, or rather die then be unclean
but the reality is this.....while it may seem extreem it makes sense also. This came from a pretty good place in thier minds.
They had this sense of something being wrong in life, they carried around the guilt and shame sin produces and this was there way of dealing with it.
It was the way they could be sure they were right with God. and in reality if this is what made them “ok” it makes sense they would go to great lengths even death to make sure they were right with God, that they were ok.
and it’s something we share in common with them. While maybe we’ve abadon this ancient way of thinking we still have this sense that is inescapable that if we were actually examined we would be rejected.
We’ve got this sense we have to hid our truth self or at least control what is happening on the outside of us to make it look like we have it all together.
Tim Keller said in his book Jesus the King
Secretly we feel that we aren’t acceptable, that we have to prove to ourselves and other people that we’re worthy, lovable, valuable.z’
So what do we do? We go to the same kind of measures to make things ok?
but I want to pose a question I think it’s one Jesus is posiong in the text what if the very thing you were doing to prove to oursleves, others, and God that we are worthy, that we are lovable, and that we are valuable is the very thing Jesus wants us to let go of?
What if it’s not what’s on the outside that really is the problem but it’s what’s on the inside
it’s the unseen
it is our hearts that are the problem?
Look at what’s next:

5 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to sthe tradition of tthe elders, wbut eat with rdefiled hands?” 6 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you xhypocrites, as it is written,

y“ ‘This people honors me with their lips,

but their heart is far from me;

7  in vain do they worship me,

teaching as zdoctrines the commandments of men.’

8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”

The pharisees are troubled the disciples don’t even hold to the tradition of the elders
Yet Jesus basically calls the phariees out. He says guys you are acting. you are hypocryets.
You say one thing with your mouth but your hearts are far from me.
but make no mistake he isn’t saying this was anything new. Jesus was saying what Isaiah wrote hundreds of years before this event took place to his own people was still relevent in Jesus’ day and age. History was reperting itself
It’s where people have bene for centuries. They say one thing with their mouths but their hearts are in a totlay different place.
and then he goes to the heart of the issue in verse 8
8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
They are holding tightly to what they think will make them right with God.
but they are missing the point. Jesus illustrates what he means in v 9-13

9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of arejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! 10 For Moses said, b‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, c‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban” ’ (that is, given to God)4— 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus dmaking void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

He says you aren’t even following the most basic commands of God you guys are completly missing it.
They were picking and choosing what laws and commandments to follow. They were trying to make God into their image instead of allowing God to confirm them into his image.
What Jesus is doing here is calling them to check their heart. and As they begin to check to their heart he speaks directly to it as he invites everyone else into the conversation
To understand verse 14-15 hinges upon how you define who a person really is.
The disciples even struggle with this. In verse 17 they ask him what his parable even meant.
which I find encouraging because there are these moments I habve to ask Jesus what does this even mean.
and he begins to explain.
There hearts still need soften. They have this question. Jesus what’s really wrong with the world?
Why is their so much strife between people
why do relationships tend to fall apart.
and then Jesus explains it plainly.
Look at this again

18 And he said to them, “Then iare you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart jbut his stomach, and is expelled?”6 (kThus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, l“What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, mmurder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, nsensuality, oenvy, pslander, qpride, rfoolishness. 23 sAll these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Jesus is saying: We are what’s wrong. It’s what comes out from the inside.
It’s the self-centeredness of the human heart.
It’s sin.
and no amount of cleaning, relgion, socially correct views can truly deal with sin.
we need something more.
I’ll illustrate it this way
Recently I started looking for a new mattress for our home. We had bought one a few years ago but it wasn’t working out well. So Elizabeth gave me the green light to go ahead and start researching.
and if you have ever researched mattress it’s a rabitt hole that seems to have no real ending.
their was one mattress I had heard about and they had a store close by to try it out so I went on a day off.
I broght my 2 kids anna and ellie which they were not super thrilled by but they said ok
we got there waited a few mins till a sales rep came to talk with us. He was super great guy and wanted to help me get a better night sleep
He started off by askign me to lay in a bed which is strange and then showed me a video whcih explained how awesome the beds they sold were.
then he preceeded to show me a scan of my back showing me where all my pressure points where. then he tried to dial in the bed to relevel presssure. As he would dial in he would ask me questions like how does that feel, can you tell a difference, isn’t this life changing.
as nice as I am I was like not really.....but he was determind. he said lets try a different mattress in the store. so we moved to the other bed and he asked an importnat question
do you sleep hot or cold
and i am like always hot with a fan on me. So he asked me to get into a sleeping bag and said it had air condition in it. Then he said I am about to show you something awesome.
hit a button on an ipad and put be in what he called Zero G sleep.
so there I am in a mattress tor in an air condtion sleeping bag in zero g and then he said I am about to get one more thing that we just got in.
He comes back and hands me what he called a baby robot.
It’s hard to imagine so here is a picture. APparently that robot you are supposed to sleep with and it has like a fake heartbeat and will match your heartbeat so you will sleep better
and so there I am in the sleeping bag, in zero g, holding the robot baby and my kids staring at me like what am I even doing and he said so you want it all?
and I was like no man, I think I will just stop driniing coffee after 4 that seemed simpler.
and sure enough it did
I share that illustration with you because that’s how ridiculus it had got with the pharisees
they were trying to solve thier biggest problem with all these external meausres and it just wasn’t working. They needed something different
It’s something we have in coming with them. For the most part we’re all still trying to address that sense of uncleanness through external measures, trying to do something that Jesus says is basically impossible.
For some it’s religion and the traditions of men
Maybe you’ve thought as I have before if I don’t watch certain moves, don’t hang out with bad people,, if I pray and read my Bible enough and I really really try and be good.....then God will look at me he will see how worthy I am and then he will heal my heart.
but what Jesus is teaching the people of that day and really us that doesn’t work.
no matter what we do we never feel good enough
even if you been doing your best to read the Bible and pray it doesn’t change your heart
a lot of times what happens when we just try to use religion to solve our heart problem it doesn’t fill us with more joy or love or even security instead we feel more anxious becuase you never really know if you are living up
that’s what’s happen with the pharisees and religious leaders in Jesus day.
All their traditions didn’t change the heart. It was a kind of outside in cleaning which just kept them doing more
Maybe it’s politics. If I just vote the right way and am on the right side of the issues that will change my heart but politics can’t change our hearts
maybe it’s social media. And we think if I can just get the right picture of my self or my family, make life look like it should that will help
but the reality is it’s a mask. it’s play acting, it’s not really addressing what’s happening inside of us
and in some was no one is immune to this kind of outside in cleaning.
It’s the thing that makes us ok
we hold tight to it. Because whatever that one thing is or things are that kind of make our world right we can hold tight to it. Yet it’s not on what’s on the outside of us that needs to be cleansed
it’s what is on the insdie of us
The prophet Jeremiah puts this very vividly: “ ‘Although you wash yourself with soda and use an abundance of soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me,’ declares the Sovereign Lord” ().
and the only one who can deal with the guilt, shame, and sin inside of us is Jesus.
I was pointed to by a friend of mine this week when I told him what I would be speaking about.
Zechariah, in a vision, is transported into the center of the temple. He says this: “Then [the Lord] showed me Joshua, the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord.”
The temple had three parts: the outer court, the inner court, and the holy of holies.
The holy of holies was completely surrounded by a thick veil. Inside was the ark of the covenant, on top of it was the mercy seat, and the shekinah glory of God, the very presence and face of God, appeared over the mercy seat. It was a dangerous place.
In , God says, “If you come near the mercy seat, put a lot of incense and smoke up in the air, because I appear in the cloud over the mercy seat and I don’t want you to die.” Only one person on one day of the year was allowed to go into the holy of holies: the high priest of Israel on the Day of Atonement
A week beforehand, the high priest was put into seclusion—taken away from his home and into a place where he was completely alone. Why? So he wouldn’t accidentally touch or eat anything unclean
Clean food was brought to him, and he’d wash his body and prepare his heart. The night before the Day of Atonement he didn’t go to bed; he stayed up all night praying and reading God’s Word to purify his soul
then he would bathe, put on unstained clothes, and go into the holy of holies and offer a sacrifice to God to pay for his own sins,
then he come out again, do the same thing and make a sacrifice for the sins of the priest
and then he would do it again and make a sacrifice for the sins of all the people
and it was done in public. the people would see all his was doing and they where cheering him on
they wanted it all to be done right. They wanted to make sure when he went before God on their behalf he was as purue as he could be
so when understanding that we can see how shocking this vision would be in zerhariah 3

3 Now jJoshua was standing before the angel, oclothed with filthy garments. 4 And the angel said to pthose who were standing before him, q“Remove the filthy garments from him.

The high priest was there and completly defiled. How could this happen? God was giving Zechariah a vision so that he could see us the way God sees us
No matter what we hold onto, and do to be pure, to be good, to be moral, to cleanse ourselves, God sees our hearts, and what’s really happening inside of them
but God doesn’t leave us there. No he enters into our defilemnt, into our hearts, into the darkest places,
the places that we want no one to know about and he begins to change us
there is another picture we see in Zechariah
‘See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.… Listen, … I am going to bring my servant, the Branch, … and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day’ 3:4-8-9
Jesus comes to deal with our sin in a single day
On the cross
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” ().
says Jesus is crucified outside the gate where bodies are burned, garbaged is place, a place of absolute uncleanliness so that we could be made right, so we could be made clean.
It cost him every and his life, and death are the only things that can deal with our heart problem.
This morning I wonder what are the things, that you are doing or holding onto that make you feel ok, that make you feel right, that make you feel clean that you are holding tight to and they are just leading to more worry, anxiety, gult and shame?
would you let go of those things. and allow Jesus to change your heart?
For the pharisees that thought defilement would ruin them and failed to realize their hearts had already done that. Jesus frees them to let go of the tradistions of man and hold onto him
Eye sight
I’ve had to let go
In all of this I have realized Jesus has something more for me. And i am coming to realize it’s one of the things that makes me ok. But the reality is this that even if get to perfect vision yet my eyes aren’t fixed on Jesus it won’t matter. I need something more then great vision, or the right house, or the correct morals, or religion, or the right social media post
I need him to change my heart. It’s what he came to do and what he still offers us today
let’s pray
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