Year 2 Day 140
Read — Mark 7:1-13
Message Alan Burke
“First posted Year 1 Day 67 - 27 May 20”
Hyacinth Bucket, remember her? Or rather Hyacinth Bouquet as she preferred to be known. She was the lead character in the early 90’s sitcom ‘Keeping Up Appearances’ (available on Britbox just incase you’re interested). If you are unfamiliar with who Hyacinth is you may be able to guess from the title of the show what it’s about, as Hyacinth’s main mission in life is to impress others with her refinement and pretended affluence but the truth was somewhat different, she was trying to keep up an appearance. There is a point to this honest, I’m not just talking about Hyacinth because of the likeness my granny shared with her both in appearance and character but I hope I have your attention and if you haven’t read the passage you should really do that now.
What’s going on in Mark 7:1-13. Well once more the Pharisees were on a scouting mission to try to build a case against this Jesus who was causing a stir (1) and they spotted how Jesus’ disciples did not follow the tradition and practices of the elders by ritual washing (2-4). These Pharisees were effectively asking Jesus what the craic is, how could he allow this to happen (5), and look at the response, Jesus calls them out for being ‘hypocrites’ (6), telling them that everything they hold on to (7) is not from God but man (8). Effectively they were more concerned about the external than they were with the internal, they were more concerned with what was seen than unseen. The problem was that everything they were doing to keep the word of God has actually made it worthless to them (9), they had used the Word of God as a tool for their own purposes (10-13). These pharisees had substituted the truth for a lie, they had subsided the word of God for their own traditions.
Hyacinth made me laugh countless times, it provided many a family joke at my granny’s expense but sadly there are many people who are simply 'keeping up appearances’. Maybe you are one of them, just as the Pharisees who honoured God outwardly, who did all the right stuff yet they were spiritually dead. Your neighbours may look at you and think ‘great Christian there’ but are you simply just keeping up appearances? What does your private devotion say about you? Could it be that you are able to talk a good talk but are spiritually dead? If that’s the case then turn to Jesus know that through faith you will be saved (Eph 2:8-9). On the other hand you may be given a hard time because you are a rubbish Christian, your husband or wife may point the finger reminding you of your failures, your friends may mock you because of what you did that last night when you were out, you may feel like you are the worst Christian ever, but you trust in the saviour, you love him, you pray to him, you read his word even though you struggle to understand it, then know you are his and nothing can separate you from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:38-39).
Finally for the Church the Jewish church should be a warning to us, we can be excessively religious and not excessively in relationship with Christ. We must never consider the word of God as trivial, as unimportant and its teaching and doctrine outdated, we must beware of false teachers and teaching that will lead us away from God and his word. If we add to it or take away from God’s word then we are on a hiding to naethin and will end up with absurd and ridiculous practices that are as worthless and we too will end up honouring the Lord with our lips, but our hearts will be far from him, our worship will be in vain and our teachings are but rules taught by men and not God (Is. 29:13, Mk 7:6-7).
Q29 How are we made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ?
We are made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ, by the effectual application of it to us, (John 1:11–12) by his Holy Spirit. (Titus 3:5–6)