Jesus quotes Isaiah. “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.” Did the Pharisees and scribes believe that they were far from God? No! They thought they were following God’s commands. They thought that the rules they followed and encouraged others to follow brought them more in line with what God wanted.
Jesus cautions us, through the story of the Pharisees, not to use God’s laws to re-enforce our own prejudice. Jesus brings good news, but in Mark’s gospel, Jesus is never easy on us. He is very demanding. He sees right past our hypocrisy to who we are on the inside. Seeing us clearly, he loves us, he has compassion on us, and he calls us to a better way. It is not an easy way. It is the way to life.
October 3, 2018
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