Friday 17 July, 2015

Mark 7:17-23

17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) 20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

The covenant with God was always about our hearts (eg Deuteronomy 6:5), but a lot of the Law is about actions. The Pharisees and teachers of the Law obviously thought that if they went through the motions of holiness it would be enough: it would seem like their hearts were right with God.

It’s certainly easier to do the actions than to change my heart. But Jesus saw through that: the expression of a sinful heart is sinful actions. The cover up inevitably fails. The purpose of the Law was to reveal the true state of my heart, to show me that I needed rescuing (Rom 2:28-9), to show me that I need a new heart.

That’s one of the cool things about the new covenant Jesus was bringing: “I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart” (Ezekiel 11:19-20). When I accepted Jesus’ rescue, my new heart has a different expression: the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-3) … so long as I consciously go on choosing to make that heart mine.

Father, I choose your heart today … and tomorrow … and the next …

Written by David Cornell

[comments section is closed]