Mark 7:4 (AV)
And when they come from the market,
except they wash, they eat not.
And many other things there be,
which they have received to hold,
as the washing of cups, and pots,
brasen vessels, and of tables
In itself it was good that the Pharisees first washed their hands before eating. That is a matter of hygiene, cleanliness, and of concern for health.
But do you know what is bad, that they made this outward form the real thing and forgot all about the cleansing of the heart.
And the latter is the most important!
If they came from the market, their primary concern after coming home was to wash their hands, for they might have touched something unclean!
▪︎ That they could have sinned there, with transgression of God’s command, that did not concern them, and therefore the Pharisee did not take care.
▪︎ How their hearts were toward the Lord, that did not concern them too, and the Pharisee did not care for that either.
But now before we harshly condemn the Pharisees, let’s not forget that somewhere, deep in our hearts, we can all bear such a Pharisee! Yes, even after we have received grace.
There may also be with us, and still today, a holding on to all kinds of outward forms, while the spirit of godliness is lacking.
Coming from the life market, there may be folded hands without the true spirit of prayer. Washing the hands only, without the purifying, inner grace.
It is correct on the outside.
However, the Lord looks at our hearts.
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